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By Tom Lutey, Billings Gazette

Emigrant Gulch

Republican lawmakers have rolled out another bill making it more expensive for the public to challenge government decisions.

Sen. Mark Noland, a Republican from Big Fork, told a Senate Business Committee this week that his Senate Bill 557 “would help industries that have been stalled or stopped by some actions that could be lawsuits, could be just challenges in the courts.”

The bill passed out of the Senate Business Committee on Thursday 6-4.

Opponents of the bill said it created a “pay to play system” that would keep many Montanans from challenging environmental and wildlife decisions by the state departments of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Environmental Quality and Natural Resources.

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