Research Center and State Transparency in Danger

The current budget deal, Senate Bill 261, has the potential to shutdown the Montana Historical Society’s (MHS) Research Center, which is statutorily mandated as the repository for all state government records. What does that mean for the everyday Joe? No transparency in state government.

Senate Bill 261 identifies the Research Center as “non-essential” and could close the Center if certain budget triggers are hit. This should be extremely concerning to all Montanans. The Research Center holds the history of the Montana State Government from the beginning to present in trust for all Montanans.

Every year the MHS Research Center receives thousands of information requests from Montana residents. Without the Research Center, government transparency in government will go away.

This is about the past, present, and future of Montana. State Legislators should not be cutting transparency, they should be expanding it.

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