Montana Legislators Can't Escape Watching NCAA Tournament Madnes - News, Sports and Weather

Montana Legislators Can't Escape Watching NCAA Tournament Madness

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It's estimated that 60 million Americans fill out March Madness brackets, and that plenty of money will be won and lost in the process. Here at the Capitol legislators are hard at work on all sorts of bills and laws, but you have to wonder, how much does March Madness affect the legislators?

"It might affect the legislature," said representative Kirk Wagoner. "A lot of people are really into this, and I don't know much about it at all. I'm all about the work!"

Try as they might, even legislators can't escape March Madness. The House and Senate have tons of brackets going on, some for charity, and others just for fun. But the main reason they compete is probably just the love of competition.

"I'm sure that there's more than just a little bragging rights going on for the wagering," said representative Wendy McKamey. "For my part I just picked my alma mater and I'm already out of it!

"Legislators are competitive people," said representative Jenny Eck. "We look for any opportunity to compete about anything. So it's just one more opportunity to beat each other."

"I think it's all in good spirit," said representative Andrew Person. "Because really what they've been working on this bracket is to get additional funding for cancer research. So it's a good way to kind of turn all the competitive spirit to something good."

For those legislators that do actively compete, catching up on games can be a challenge. Between floor sessions and meetings, it can be tough to find some free time to check your bracket. But it's those little breaks that they look forward to.

"Every time we get a break I pull up the games on my lap top on the house floor," said representative Zach Brown. "You keep up well enough, but there are people watching what you've got up on your computer so it's not really appropriate to be watching the scores when we're on the house floor."

"There's going to be quite a bit of delays on knowing what the results are," said representative Daniel Zolnikov. "But we're going to try to I think, some of the guys especially, be trying to do a lot of catch up on the weekends."

At the end of the day legislators are just like you and me, they're just looking for a couple of minutes to get their minds off of work. They know what they're here to do, but a little fun never hurt either.

"The legislative work has always got to come first, but we've got time in the hallways, in between, in the breaks and lunch to catch up on it," said Wagoner.

"It's entertainment," said McKamey. "And I'm not going to fault them for checking their cell phones to check out their entertainment. That's a good thing I think."

With only a little more than a month left in legislation, March Madness may be exactly what the doctors ordered to help get them through this final push.

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