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Montana House Forwards Study Bill For Regulations Suspended During Pandemic

Montana Republican Rep. Caleb Hinkle introduces House Bill 158 on the House floor March 11, 2021.

The Montana House Thursday offered its support to a bill that would create a commission to study whether to permanently revoke regulations suspended during the coronavirus pandemic.

Under House Bill 158, the commission of lawmakers, state agency officials, business figures and other members of the public would meet at least quarterly and develop policy recommendations ahead of the next legislative session.

“After the dismal treatment of businesses over the past year, I believe it is our duty to lessen the burdens in the future going forward,” said bill sponsor Republican Rep. Caleb Hinkle of Belgrade.

The House approved the proposal on second reading along party lines. It will likely pass the House on Friday then move to the Senate.

Bozeman Democratic Rep. Kelly Kortum said members of his party wouldn’t get enough say over commission membership. He also said the commission is unnecessary considering lawmakers are already introducing bills to alter coronavirus-impacted regulations.