A proposal before House lawmakers says referees need better lawsuit protection when officiating athletic events in Montana.
Senate Bill 4 heard in the House Judiciary Committee on Mar. 2 would raise the bar for what is required to sue an official for injuries during a sporting event.
Supporters say fear of lawsuits is driving people away from officiating and has created a serious shortage of referees.
Those opposing the bill say there have been no serious lawsuits against officials in the state and the legislation is prompted by fear instead of facts.
The bill has already cleared the Senate and now must pass several votes in the House before it could be sent to the governor to sign.
The committee took no further action on the proposal.
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