MTPR

Derek Skees

Montana State Capitol.
William Marcus / MTPR

The Montana House gave initial approval Tuesday to an amended sexual harassment policy for the Legislature. The policy is in a package of rules that also includes a controversial plan to remove notices when proposed legislation might violate the state constitution.

Democrats protested, but ultimately voted alongside Republicans to approve new rules for their conduct in the Legislature.

Controversial House Rules Debate Continues in Committee

Jan 8, 2019
Rep. Derek Skees, R-Kalispell, chair of the House Rules Committee, listens as representatives debate over an amendment to “blast” motion rules on Jan. 8, 2019.
Shaylee Ragar / UM Legislative News Service

HELENA -- The House of Representatives is closer to voting on new rules that will govern how big bills move through the legislative process this session.

House Referendum 1 was read to the House floor, enabling committee members to take executive action during their next meeting.

Polson Republican State Representative Greg Hertz.
Corin Cates-Carney / MTPR

The 66th meeting of the Montana Legislature gavels in at noon Monday setting the 90-day timer for major state policy debates. An early conflict will be over a proposal to change to the rules of the House in way  that could reset the political balance-of-power in the Capitol.

Hearing room at the Montana Capitol.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

There is a fight brewing in the Montana Legislature over how much power House leadership should have to keep bills they don’t like from going forward. It’s revealing lines between conservative and moderate factions in the Republican caucus; and how it plays out could determine the way high-profile policy is made.

“There’s a lot at stake in this game,” says Derek Skees, a Republican party whip in the House.

The line for the Flathead County Republicans' fundraiser Saturday night stretched down Electric Avenue in Bigfork
Nicky Ouellet / MTPR

Flathead County Republicans hosted a controversial speaker at a fundraiser in Bigfork this weekend, and barred all but one news outlet from covering the event.

Dinesh D’Souza is a right-wing political commentator, currently on a speaking tour promoting his new book, “The Big Lie: Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left.”

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