Montana’s Attorney General Austin Knudsen appeared on the KGVO Talk Back show on Monday and answered questions from listeners on a variety of topics.

Knudsen answered a question about HB 702, which he said many people mistakenly believe made a vaccine mandate illegal. He explained the effects of the bill.

“It’s important that people understand what happened in the last legislature,” said Knudsen. “We had House Bill 702, and that was a bill that made discrimination based on vaccination status and make it illegal. But what it did is, is it created a private cause of action.”

Knudsen said the state cannot take action, however, any citizen has been empowered to bring a civil suit against an employer that may require a COVID 19 vaccination.

“What people have if they feel like they're being discriminated upon based upon their vaccination status, is a private civil cause of action that the legislature created. So basically you'd have to hire a lawyer and sue.”

Regarding mask mandates in public schools, Knudsen said citizens need to realize that their local school boards are not appointed, they are elected, and can be replaced by the voters.

“Now what we're seeing is that a lot of school board members don’t like the heat that they're generating,” he said. “And so they're trying to pass the buck and say, ‘Oh, well, the state says we have to do this or the federal government says we have to do this’, or our superintendent says we have to do this’. The superintendent works for the school board. At the end of the day, your school board hires the superintendent. Your local elected school board is who ultimately is in charge of making these decisions and they need to hear from you.”

Knudsen was asked about the teaching of Critical Race Theory in Montana public schools, and he explained the binding opinion he issued on the subject several months ago.

“This talking point that's being thrown around out there that Republicans just don't want to teach history because they're embarrassed by it,” he said. “That is just utter nonsense. And it is an absolutely a Democrat talking point. It just shows the pure ignorance on their part because it tells me that they're too lazy to actually pick up my AG (Attorney General’s) opinion and read it.”

Listen to the entire conversation with Attorney General Knudsen by clicking the above link.

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