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Clock ticking on Montana's various proposed constitutional amendments

Updated: Jul 21, 2023

Voters in Montana could soon see a flurry of state constitutional amendments on their ballots.

Lawmakers have proposed more than 50 constitutional changes, but it's likely when all is said and done less than a dozen will be put forward to voters. Still, nearly a dozen is significant.

House Bill 551 changes the state's constitutional right to bear arms by selecting a current section of the state constitution that deals with concealed weapons.

There's also House Bill 372, which would add a constitutional right to hunt, fish, and trap.

Some of the more controversial proposals deal with the state Supreme Court. One deals with term limits for public officials and judges.

Another proposal is an amendment to change the way Montana's Supreme Court justices are chosen. Rather than a statewide election, they would be appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate.

There is not necessarily a right or wrong way for judges to be selected. In fact, there are 25 different selection systems.

Montana, Idaho and Washington are three of just 13 states that elect judges in non-partisan elections.

We will know in just a few weeks which constitutional amendments have a chance of actually making it to the ballot. The next deadline is the first week of April.

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