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Trump says he is not buying U.S. intelligence as he meets with Putin. Also on the rundown: as harvest nears farmers speak out on tariffs; immigrant advocates say families should not be kept in cages; and a call for a deeper dive to the Lake Erie algae troubles.

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MT Leg. Scorecard: Ice-Blocking Conservation Issues 'Thawing'

Montana Conservation Voters assessed state lawmakers' records this session on issues such as public lands policy. (Deja Elder/Montana Conservation Voters)
Montana Conservation Voters assessed state lawmakers' records this session on issues such as public lands policy. (Deja Elder/Montana Conservation Voters)
June 9, 2017

HELENA, Mont. – With another session in the books, marks for Montana state lawmakers on conservation are in.

Montana Conservation Voters has released a comprehensive scorecard of legislators' voting records in the 2017 session. It covers issues of public lands, clean energy and water policy.

The executive director of Montana Conservation Voters, Clayton Elliott, says the scorecard points out lawmakers who voted against conservation policy, but it includes a so-called "honor roll" as well.

"We also want to highlight those folks who go above and beyond in championing conservation, public lands, clean energy, clean water, and being able to recognize those folks who really moved the ball forward and stand up for the values that I think we as Montanans share," he explains.

Elliott says the ice is beginning to thaw on clean energy, with a number of bills gaining traction, but ultimately failing. He also says there were no major attacks on public lands - different from sessions in years' past.

A bill that would have established Public Lands Day passed the House, but was tabled in the Senate.

Seven bills opposed by the conservation community passed through the Legislature but were eventually vetoed by Gov. Steve Bullock. The proposals included additional registration fees for electric vehicles, eliminating the Board of Environmental Review and weakening oil and gas notification rules.

Elliott says he's thankful for Bullock's action on these bills.

"Certainly the leadership of the governor could not be understated in terms of protecting our outdoor heritage and way of life - really coming through at the end and vetoing some of the most egregious attacks that made it all the way through the legislative process," he says.

Lawmakers are voting on whether to overturn some of the governor's vetoes. However, that isn't likely: a veto requires the support of two-thirds of the House and Senate, and that hasn't happened since 1999.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - MT