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Billings representative selected for bigger role in national legislature group

Posted at 5:07 PM, Jan 30, 2021

A three-term Montana House representative from Billings has a bigger role in a nationwide legislative organization.

The National Conference of State Legislatures selected Rep. Barry Usher, R-Billings, to serve on its executive committee.

Every legislator is automatically part of the organization and Usher has been the vice-chair of the law and justice committee.

He says the group's role is research, training and lobbying the federal government on big issues.

Several other legislators from both parties are members of the non-partisan conference.

"Their staff is not allowed to have a political opinion," Usher said about the NCSL. "When you ask them something as a Republican, they will give you the same answer as if you were a Democrat."

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Barry Usher

He said this carries over to the members when they discuss and debate issues.

"One of my favorite people in NCSL is one of the most liberal people I know," Usher said. "And we don't see eye to eye on very many things. But he and I can have some great conversations so we can understand what the other side is thinking."

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"Montana is very much a local control state," said Dylan Klapmeier, Montana House Majority communications director. "Representative Usher said that now more than ever, state legislatures need to have a voice in national politics."

The committee met this morning and will soon have a list of its top legislative issues to take to the federal government.

Usher represents House District 40, which includes parts of Yellowstone and Musselshell counties.