HELENA – Delegates to the state Republican Party platform convention in Billings on Saturday did not unanimously approve a resolution that called for the turning over federally managed lands to the states, as the Lee Newspapers State Bureau had reported.
It was a voice vote and appeared to be unanimous, but it wasn’t, two legislators said later.
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“Whether or not recognized by the chair or yourself due to lousy acoustics, I, for one, did vote in opposition, and I believe there were a handful of other nays,” Rep. Pat Connell, R-Hamilton, a certified forester, said in an email to the State Bureau. “While I have spent a career encouraging and promoting better management of federal lands, I do not advocate the wholesale transfer of federal lands’ responsibility to the states due to the incredible liability risks to the taxpayers of Montana such action would create.”
Another legislator, Rep. Steve Gibson of Helena, said this week he also voted against the resolution.