After narrowly approving a bill from a Missoula lawmaker last week, several representatives flipped their votes Monday to reject legislation dealing with dependents for tax purposes and voting.
Republican Rep. Brad Tschida’s House Bill 240 received initial approval last week on a vote of 52-48. On Monday, multiple Republicans changed their votes to defeat the measure with a vote of 47-53.
Tschida, of Missoula, billed the legislation as a property tax relief bill by disallowing “temporary” residents to vote in local elections. Temporary residents were defined as voters being claimed as a dependent for tax purposes, stating they must register to vote at the address of person or persons claiming them as their permanent address.
The bill saw a mix of support and opposition.
Opponents of the bill felt it unfairly targeted students who want to have a voice in their communities and that it muddies the waters between tax and voting laws.
Lawmakers could attempt to revive the bill at a later point if enough support can be garnered from the full House.
Tom Kuglin is the deputy editor for the Lee Newspapers State Bureau. His coverage focuses on outdoors, recreation and natural resources.