Groups object to lawmakers’ lack of public notice

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Newspaper and public-information advocacy groups are objecting to what they see as the Montana Legislature failing to give the public proper notice of meetings.
Attorney Mike Meloy’s letter Monday on behalf of the Montana Newspaper Association and the Montana Freedom of Information Hotline says the lack of notice “appears to be a serious pattern” this session.
The letter was prompted by a meeting held Friday evening by a budget subcommittee to discuss a task force that would be created under a bill being considered. The meeting was listed late Thursday night on a legislative website, then removed Friday morning.
Senate Majority Leader Fred Thomas says he believes the meeting was a working group not subject to public notice.
Legislative Executive Director Susan Fox says public notice should have been given because a quorum of the subcommittee attended.