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Missing senator returns, work resumes

HELENA (AP) — A state senator whose absence led to an uproar is back in attendance.

AP Photo/Matt Gouras

State Sen. Shannon Augare looks at a vote tally after returning to the Montana Senate on Saturday. Augare's unexplained absence a day earlier led to a parliamentary showdown as minority Democrats were foiled in their attempts to kill GOP bills with procedural moves.

State Sen. Shannon Augare of Browning returned to the Senate early Saturday morning as the chamber resumed voting.

A day earlier Democrats attempted to halt all business by invoking a parliamentary move that demands every member is present before business can resume. The move could have killed some Republican proposals in danger of missing a procedural deadline.

But Republicans ignored the Democrats and went ahead with votes, leading the minority party to pound on their desks and shout.

Augare told The Associated Press on Saturday morning simply he was at home. He did not respond to a question asking why he was absent.

Democrats had initially indicated Friday there may be concerns about Augare's safety.


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