HELENA — Leaders in the Montana House and Senate laid out their plans for the 67th Montana Legislature when they met for the first time Monday.
House Majority Leader Sue Vinton, R-Billings, said she and her party are ready to take full advantage of the control her party won in November.
“These are exciting times. Exceptional times, and the opportunity for meaningful change is finally here,” Vinton said.
House Minority Leader Kim Abbott, D-Helena, said House Democrats would hold their Republican counterparts accountable.
In the Senate, Minority Leader Jill Cohenour, D-East Helena, said Democrats will help create a balanced budget without cutting what they deem essential services.
“Senate Democrats are prepared to tackle the challenges ahead, and we encourage our colleagues to join us in moving the state forward, not backward,” Cohenour said.
Senate Majority Leader Cary Smith, R-Billings, said he and his party are committed to opening Montana back up for business.
Lawmakers convened Monday for the biennial 90-day session in Helena.
James Bradley is a reporter with the UM Legislative News Service, a partnership of the University of Montana School of Journalism, the Montana Broadcasters Association and the Greater Montana Foundation.