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Bill shielding NortWestern from lawsuit sparks intense lobbying

 


By HELENA (AP) - A measure that would shield NorthWestern Energy from a $3 billion lawsuit by Montana Power Co. shareholders has sparked intense lobbying here as supporters and critics prepare to follow the bill to the state House.

John Fitzpatrick, a NorthWestern lobbyist, said he views efforts to pass Senate Bill 458 as a kind of trial for the company, with state lawmakers as jury.

''We're going to a form of court,'' Fitzpatrick told The Great Falls Tribune. ''We're taking this to a jury of 150 citizens from across the state.''

The measure, sponsored by Sen. Walter McNutt, R-Sidney, has b...



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