HELENA — The We the People: Rally for Montana's Constitution took place at the Capitol on Wednesday afternoon. The event was organized by the Northern Plains Resource Council and featured such speakers as former governor of Montana, Marc Racicot and former legislator, Dorothy Bradley.
“Change in the Constitution is warranted once in a while but not wholesale,” says Vice-Chair of Friends of the Montana Constitution, Evan Barrett.
Over two hundred people showed up to support the rally. The event was co-sponsored by various organizations such as Forward Montana, ACLU Montana, and Friends of the Montana Constitution.
Montana’s current, and second, Constitution was adopted in 1973. Over that time, there have been 34 amendments made to the document. Currently, there have been 56 requests for possible amendments during this legislative session alone, and one bill introduced as of Wednesday afternoon.
Those rallying feel that there are too many requests for possible amendments being brought forward and want to help maintain the current protections and rights of the Montana Constitution.
“We really want the Constitution kept as it is, as a whole. We appreciate every part of the Constitution. And people of Montana don't probably even understand how many rights they have that they enjoy that are under threat with these amendments,” says Chair of the Democracy Committee with Northern Plains Resource Council, Norane Freistadt.
Freistadt says that some of her biggest concerns over the amendments deal with the judiciary and the environment.
In Montana, voters ultimately have the final say on all proposed constitutional amendments. With any proposed amendment appearing on the ballot during the next general election.