ACLU of Montana

Rep. Rae Peppers, D-Lame Deer, stands at a podium in front of Gov. Steve Bullock and other proponents of Hanna's Act and HB 54 after a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee. January 30, 2019.
Corin Cates-Carney / MTPR

A bill named for a murdered Northern Cheyenne woman had its first hearing in the Montana Legislature Wednesday morning.

Hanna’s Act, House Bill 21, is one of several in the legislature that draws attention to the crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls.

Montana Lawmakers Hear Testimony On 'Revenge Porn' Bill

Jan 28, 2019
Montana Capitol.
Nick Mott / Montana Public Radio

HELENA -- Montana would be the 42nd state to criminalize nonconsensual pornography if a new bill introduced in the Montana Legislature becomes law.

Rep. Marilyn Ryan, D-Missoula, is sponsoring House Bill 192, which would make the distribution of sexual images of people without their consent a felony.

Montana Lawmakers Consider Updates To State Stalking Laws

Jan 23, 2019
Sen. Jennifer Gross. sponsored Senate Bill 144, which would update laws dealing with stalking and restraining orders. File photo.
Montana Legislature

HELENA — Survivors of domestic violence, stalking and harassment came to the Montana Capitol Wednesday to rally support for Senate Bill 114, which would update laws dealing with stalking and restraining orders.

Senate Panel Hears Bill On Increasing Penalties For Aggravated DUI

Jan 22, 2019
DUI check point. File photo.

HELENA -- A bill in the Legislature would change DUI laws in Montana, making it legal for officers to take a blood sample from someone who refuses a breathalyzer on the first offense and increasing penalties for aggravated cases.

Bill Would Repeal Montana’s Switchblade Ban

Jan 21, 2019
Rep. Casey Knudsen, R-Malta, presents his bill to repeal the ban on switchblades in a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Jan. 21, 2019.
Shaylee Ragar / UM Legislative News Service

HELENA — The House Judiciary Committee is considering a bill that would repeal the statewide ban on switchblade knives.

Rep. Barry Usher, R-Billings, is sponsoring a bill to criminalize bullying in schools at the request of a group of school resource officers. Jan. 21, 2019.
Shaylee Ragar / UM Legislative News Service

HELENA -- Montana lawmakers will hear a bill this week that would criminalize school bullying.

House Bill 199 is sponsored by Rep. Barry Usher, R-Billings. It would make bullying in a school a misdemeanor, with a fine up to $500, county jail time or placement in a youth detention facility. If the bullying results in death or serious bodily harm, the defendant could be charged with a felony.

Montana Capitol.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

The Montana Office of Public Defender is asking lawmakers to allow it to collect fees from people who are in jail or prison. A bill to do that was introduced Friday, and drew a rebuke by one of the office’s own attorneys.

The change proposed by OPD would reverse 2015 legislation that suspends payments by people for their public attorney until after they are released from prison or jail.    


The Montana Supreme Court Wednesday struck down a 2015 state law allowing tax credits for donations to private religious schools.

The court’s 5-2 ruling voids the dollar-for-dollar tax credit, up to $150, which passed, largely along party lines, out of the 2015 Montana Legislature.

A lawsuit alleging a Montana school discriminated against Native Americans goes to trial in Columbus Wednesday.

Four Native Americans from Pryor on the Crow Reservation say they were denied entry to the school gym in Reed Point in January of 2017 because they were not white. They had arrived early for a school basketball game and said white fans were being let in early out of the cold weather. The four are suing the school’s superintendent and athletic director.

Nicky Ouellet

If you lived in the Flathead Valley and wanted or needed to abort a pregnancy in the past four years, the closest clinic was more than 100 miles away in Missoula, Great Falls, Helena or Billings.