Once a month, Robyn Driscoll, chair of the Montana Democratic Party appears on the KGVO Talk Back show to take questions from callers.

She began the conversation by taking Montana’s governor and legislature to task for the state’s dismal performance in fighting the COVID 19 pandemic.

“Montana is less than 50% vaccinated,” said Driscoll. “We are in the absolute worst stretches of the COVID pandemic, and I think we are second in the nation per capita with cases and deaths, and I feel like our governor is providing no leadership whatsoever.”

Driscoll referenced HB 702 recently passed by the Montana Legislature that forbids vaccination mandates.

“Part of the bill says an employer can't refuse employment to a person, bar a person from employment or discriminate against based on vaccination status, but a public accommodation business may exclude, limit, segregate or refuse to serve or otherwise discriminate against a person based on the person's vaccination status or whether they have a passport.”

On the subject of the Montana Redistricting Commission, Driscoll said the commission was meeting on Tuesday to take eight hours of public comment on the nine possible maps that have been drawn to represent the new Montana Congressional District.

“One of the goals of the commission is to establish maps that are fair and competitive when it's possible,” she said. “It's the Commission's responsibility to consider the public testimony and look to uphold the wishes of Montanans while they comply with all the criteria, of course and the goals of the Commission.”

Following all the testimony today in Helena, Driscoll explained what will happen next.

“On Thursday, they will whittle those nine maps down to one, and then they will take public comment again and then vote on the map that will be acceptable,” she said. “So once they do that, then they vote, and that will be the map that's used unless either side takes the map that was selected to court.”

KGVO also spoke to State Auditor and Insurance Commissioner Troy Downing about the commission’s work. His comments are contained in an adjacent story on our website.

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