Montana governor Greg Gianforte last week signed into law H.B. 273, which transfers the power to authorize the construction of nuclear power facilities in the state from the public, via referendum, to the legislature. The new measure overturns the Montana Empowering Voters to Approve Proposed Nuclear Facilities Initiative, which had been on the books since 1978.
Sponsored by Rep. Derek Skees (R., Kalispell), H.B. 273 passed in the Montana Senate on April 15 by a vote of 30–20, following a 68–32 nod from the House in February. Both votes were cast largely along party lines, with Republicans in favor and Democrats opposed.