The 67th Montana Legislature is in the record books.
It’s been a bitterly contested, controversial session. The Republican majority delivered to Greg Gianforte a great deal of what the GOP governor campaigned on, and a lot of things he didn’t. The repercussions have yet to be felt across the state — and several of the new laws are destined to be fought out in court. But a Republican governor has definitely broken the logjam on many issues.
This was a Legislature in which the partisan opponents could agree on very little, from COVID precautions to tax policy to guns, wolves and transgender athletes. The Billings-area delegation has influential members of both parties, and they all have done their best to represent their constituencies.
We have differed with several of them on this page during the session, and agreed with several of them as well. Some have chosen to use the Opinion pages to communicate with their constituents, writing opEds and letters, which we encourage and appreciate.
The sausage-making isn’t always pretty. The results may not be to our satisfaction. But whether we agree with them or not, whether we voted for them or not, every one of our legislators deserves our gratitude for their hard work during this session.
Thanks go to Reps. Vince Ricci, Seth Berglee, Sue Vinton, Bill Mercer, Terry Moore, Katie Zolnikov, Jessica Karjala, Kathy Kelker, Mallerie Stromswold, Barry Usher, Jimmy Patelis, Larry Brewster, Frank Fleming, Dennis Lenz, Emma Kerr-Carpenter, and Kerri Seekins-Crowe; Sens. Doug Kary, Mary McNally, Jen Gross, Tom McGillvray, David Howard, Chris Friedel, Brad Molnar, Cary Smith, Duane Ankney and; and their colleagues from all across the state.
The practice of democracy isn’t easy, with or without a pandemic, and we tip our hat to all of them.
This editorial represents the views of the Billings Gazette Editorial Board: President Dave Worstell, Regional Editor David McCumber and Chief Photographer Larry Mayer.