New House Speaker Wylie Galt on Upcoming Legislative Session
Wylie Galt, a farmer and rancher from Martinsdale, is the newly elected Speaker of the Montana House of Representatives, and will preside when the 2021 session begins in January.
Galt, representing House District 30, is part of the Republican majority in both houses of the legislature.
Galt addressed the recent leadership meetings that occurred this month and said allowances have been made to accommodate anyone with concerns about COVID 19.
“We're leaving a lot of it up to people's personal decision how they want to participate in the legislature,” said Galt. “From being there in person, or if they're not feeling safe, or if they have family members that don't feel safe coming to Helena that we gave them a remote option that they can come in and still participate in every way of the legislature through ZOOM or some other form of communication.”
Galt said the legislative leadership is also addressing how the public and others associated with the legislature can deal with COVID issues.
“We've started the process of talking about what they want the room to look like, what's going to be able to go for the public coming in, what that flow is going to look, and what the remotes going to look like,” he said. “It's a big hill to try to get over and we're slowly chipping away at it. I would say we have a final product that I can say you're going to have ‘A, B and C’ but we're working in that direction.”
Wylie also addressed the fact that the Republican dominated Montana Legislature will have a fellow Republican in the Governor’s mansion for the first time in 16 years.
“We're definitely looking at a lot more efficiencies through all the departments, and with a new Republican control and Republican directors, I think the whole system is going to shift a lot more to efficiencies,” he said. “We believe that that is going to get us to where we're going to be able to balance our budget without any new taxes on people in Montana, especially through this hard time of COVID, and the uncertainties that Montanans have; if their jobs are going to be there from week to week with the shutdowns, and some of the uncertainties of businesses as well.”
In a recent KGVO interview with Democrat State Senator Ellie Hill, she said Republican leaders refused to wear masks during the leadership meetings in Helena.
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