The Montana Legislature officially got underway in Helena on Monday with the swearing-in ceremony, and then Republicans and Democrats separated to begin the process of caucusing.

Speaker of the House Greg Hertz said his fellow Republicans got together to discuss rules and other important topics.

“Today, we adopted temporary rules which allows us to work through the rules process to make sure we have perfect rules as we head into the session,” said Hertz. “Today, we had a unified Republican caucus who supported our amendments and proposals with 58 Republicans and all 42 Democrats opposed to the temporary rules adoption.”

Hertz said rumblings that several Republicans will break ranks to join Democrats on key issues is ‘just a rumor’.

“I think that’s just a lot of speculation,” he said. “The Republican Party has worked strongly together, and if you look at the special session how strongly we worked together, and that’s my goal as Speaker. All Republicans are different shades of red, but we have one common thread, and that is for limited government and to control spending in the state of Montana, no new taxes and to help the citizens meet their needs. Republicans will continue to do that through the session.”

Hertz said most of the rest of this week will be devoted to rule making and training for new legislators.

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