Biggest stories of 2021: GOP majority sets tone in legislative session

Phil Drake

A Republican juggernaut coupled with the coronavirus made Montana’s 2021 legislative session one of the most unique and combative political bouts in years.

The 80-day session kicked off in January, about two months after Republicans gave Democrats a shellacking at the ballot box for all the top state offices, giving Montana its first GOP governor in 16 years.

Republicans also increased their majorities in the state Senate and House.

Speaker of the House Wylie Galt, R-Martinsdale, left, and Senate President Mark Blasdel, R-Kalispell, recite the Pledge of Allegiance before the State of the State address in the state Capitol Jan. 28.

THOM BRIDGE, Independent Record

Through the session, Republicans advanced bills that previously died via veto during the last decade and a half by a Democratic governor. That included legislation to restrict access to abortion, broadly expand where firearms can be carried, end same-day voter registration and more.

“Because of the policies that we enacted, Montana families, businesses and individuals have more freedom to thrive. We gave $120 million back to the taxpayers and simplified our tax code,”

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