Montana

Young lawmakers finding their way in Montana's Capitol

HELENA, Mont. - Dozens of freshman lawmakers arrive to serve in the Montana Legislature each session, but there are few young faces.

There's no one younger than Democratic Rep. Jacob Bachmeier of Havre, who is 19 and among the youngest lawmakers in the nation.

In the 100-member House, only five are under the age of 30. In the Senate, the youngest is 34.

Though few in number, these young legislators are speaking for their generation on such priorities as education, technology and the environment.

Republican Rep. Daniel Zolnikov of Billings is only 30 but already in his third term in the House.

He says young legislators might not have the life experiences of their older colleagues, but offer a more youthful and modern perspective in a Legislature dominated by silver-haired members.


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