Montana Advances Jobs, Business Expenses Bills

Thursday, 24 Feb 2011 02:21 PM

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Republican lawmakers in Montana Wednesday pushed through two major initiatives aimed at helping businesses create jobs and reduce their expenses, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported Thursday.

One initiative would reduce the cost of worker’s compensation by curtailing the benefits paid to injured workers. Republicans said the system is being abused and that never-ending claims are driving up the cost of doing business in the state.

"What we have heard time and time again is that our businesses need to have some changes now. They want relief," said state Rep. Scott Reichner, a Bigfork Republican. "This bill addresses it and it addresses it now."

A second bill would rewrite the state’s environmental laws, making it easier and faster to get permits, and to make it harder to sue to block developments.

The discussion over the measures is expected to last the entire legislative session, which runs through April.

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