Montana Public Radio

Al Smith

Rep. Bill Mercer (R) - HD46
Montana Legislature

Montana lawmakers have advanced a second bill aimed at protecting entities from civil liability related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lawmakers gave initial approval to the policy, which would protect government organizations, including public school systems and private health care providers from coronavirus-related lawsuits unless they exhibit gross negligence in preventing the spread of the virus.

Bill Could Strip Worker’s Compensation For Failure To Disclose Medical Conditions

Mar 21, 2017
The Capitol dome in Helena, MT.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

Montana lawmakers heard a bill today that would add another aspect to worker’s compensation cases. Senate Bill 116 could strip employees of worker’s comp eligibility if they knowingly or willfully failed to disclose a medical condition pertinent to a job in any pre-employment questionnaires.

Senate Republicans Seek To Push Motl Out As Commissioner

Jan 3, 2017
Commissioner of Political Practices Jonathan Motl testifies in his lawsuit against Republican Rep. Art Wittich, March 31, 2016.
Kimberly Reed

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Senate Republicans who oppose giving Montana Commissioner of Political Practices Jonathan Motl a full six-year term in office want to intervene in a lawsuit that aims to do just that.

Senate Majority Leader Fred Thomas, R-Stevensville, told his GOP caucus Tuesday that a resolution will be introduced as early as Wednesday defending the Senate's confirmation process, which set Jan. 1 as the expiration of Motl's term.

Montana Political Practices Commissioner To Remain In Office For Now

Dec 30, 2016
Montana Commissioner of Political Practices, Jonathan Motl.
Corin Cates-Carney

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana's commissioner of political practices will remain in office beyond the expiration of his term Sunday until a state judge rules on a lawsuit seeking to keep him in office for a full six years.

The Montana Capitol
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

Montana’s proposed rules for political campaigns need rewriting. That was the opinion of several public interest groups that testified during two days of public hearings Wednesday and Thursday at the state capitol. The rules proposed by Commissioner of Political Practices Jonathan Motl, define when a public interest group qualifies as a "political committee".

The Montana Capitol
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

The issue of health care was in play again today in the Montana Legislature. On the day when three Republican health-care proposals were voted down on the floor of the Montana House, yet another proposal got its first hearing in the Senate Health Committee.

Last month seven former Montana Supreme Court justices had an opinion piece published in the Missoulian. The title of the piece was Will Montana Judges Be For Sale?

Gun Safety - Get Your Remington Repaired

Sep 24, 2014

It happens every year for me, those crisp early mornings, the angle of the light, even the smell, tell me, in a way that no calendar can, that hunting season is upon us. Hunting is a family tradition in Montana, a higher percentage of our population hunts than in any other state, and it is common to see hunting parties of two or three generations in the woods and on the prairies throughout Montana. In my experience, the stories from hunting trips are not primarily about the kill, but rather about the experience of being with family and friends in Montana's wild country.

Justice At Risk

Aug 27, 2014

When we think of America's legal system, it seems we most often think of our criminal justice system and the protections it offers to hold criminals accountable while also shielding innocent citizens from governmental abuses. In some ways, the more remarkable part of our legal system may be our civil justice system and the contributions it and our constitutional right to trial by jury have made to consumer health and safety.

Corporate Religion

Jul 2, 2014

The U.S. Supreme Court ended its term yesterday with a bang, again. We've just seen the Hobby Lobby case that grants some corporate entities the right to religious freedom under the First Amendment. I'm not sure the many people who decried the Court's granting personhood rights to corporate entities for political campaign spending in Citizens United saw this one coming – you could kind of understand a corporation speaking through its wallet, but a corporation gaining personhood to express a religious tenet based on the beliefs of its majority owners?

Pages