Montana GOP takes over in Helena with full plate


HELENA — Montana Republicans in dominant control of the Legislature start work this week on an ambitious plan to tackle everything from medical marijuana to the way the state takes federal money to run its programs.

The Legislature's sole constitutional duty is to adopt a balanced budget. Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer has proposed a plan that meets that bar — but Republicans want to go further and cut spending to match what they perceive as an austerity mandate from voters.

And there will be no shortage of issues beyond the budget.

The list includes: revamping or repealing medical...

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