Montana lawmakers reach tentative deal on harassment policy


    Montana capitol building, Helena Photo: NBC Montana

    Montana House and Senate lawmakers have reached a tentative deal on a policy to report and investigate harassment, discrimination and retaliation involving lawmakers and legislative employees.

    A conference committee recommended Tuesday that lawmakers reject a House proposal that the policy apply to lobbyists, media and members of the public.

    The full Senate and House must approve the committee's recommendation.

    Democrats argued for the House version, saying it would have set expectations for anyone involved in the legislative process.

    Republicans in the majority say the rule is a human resources policy for the Legislature alone.

    Senate Majority Leader Fred Thomas says complaints regarding media or lobbyists should be referred to their employer. He says legislative leaders can address a member of the public who may be out of order, including removing them from the building.

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