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Taking control: City and county leaders statewide are struggling to come to terms with rollbacks of municipal authority

After months of legislative debate, Montanans are beginning to glimpse how new laws passed by the 67th Legislature are poised to impact their lives. For county and municipal leaders, those impacts amount to a notable reduction in their ability to respond at a local level on a range of issues including public health, affordable housing and agricultural sustainability. 

One of the highest-profile examples of a major change local officials now have to contend with is House Bill 121, which requires that any rules or regulations proposed by local health officers or health boards be approved by...