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Senate President subpoenas ballot initiative from Secretary of State

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News from Lyle Schmauch, Communications & Policy Manager, Senate Republicans, 

MT Legislature

HELENA — Montana Senate President Jason Ellsworth, R-Hamilton, today issued a subpoena to Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen for Constitutional Initiative 14, the proposed ballot issue to put abortion in the state constitution.

Ellsworth’s subpoena comes one day after the Montana Supreme Court suggested in a footnote that the proposed initiative should not go before a legislative committee for a vote on legislative support or opposition. As reported by the Montana Free Press, the Secretary of State’s office noted that the issue of legislative participation was not part of the court’s order, but initiative backers were arguing that the footnote should keep the Legislature from having its usual committee vote on the proposed ballot initiative.

The legislative subpoena seeks to put that issue to rest, bringing the proposed initiative to the Legislature for its committee discussion and vote.

“Yesterday the Montana Supreme Court was effing around in a footnote. Today they’re finding out what the Legislature thinks of that,” Ellsworth said. “As I said yesterday, the lawmaking branch of government needs to have a voice in proposed laws regardless of where they originate. I look forward to the Secretary of State complying with the subpoena so the Legislature can proceed with having a committee vote on whether to support or oppose Constitutional Initiative 14.” 


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