MTPR

Austin Knudsen

From left to right, Rep. Greg Gianforte, Sen. Al Olszewski and Attorney General Tim Fox.
Photo credit L- R, Eric Whitney, Corin Cates-Carney and Montana DOJ

Montana now has three Republicans campaigning for governor, with one candidate dropping out of the race to run for the U.S. House. Party leaders met in Helena this weekend. Veteran journalists Chuck Johnson and Ed Kemmick offer their analysis with Montana Free Press Editor John Adams.

Former State Rep. Austin Knudsen has announced his candidacy for Attorney General in the 2020 race.
Mike Albans / Montana Public Radio

Former Speaker of the House Austin Knudsen announced Monday that he is seeking the Republican nomination for Montana’s Attorney General race in 2020.

Knudsen served as a representative from Culbertson in the state Legislature from 2011 to 2017, serving as Speaker of the House during his last four years. He’s the second Republican to enter the Attorney General race.

Jonathan Windy Boy
Courtesy Montana Legislature

UPDATE: In an earlier version of this story, The Associated Press reported erroneously that former House Speaker Austin Knudsen and Senate President Scott Sales both confirmed the identity of the lawmaker. Sales said he knew who was the subject of the complaint, but did not publicly identify him as Rep. Jonathan Windy Boy. 

A Montana lawmaker says his constitutional rights have been violated after he was identified as the subject of a harassment complaint by a female legislator.

Rep. Jonathan Windy Boy (D), HD-32.
Mike Albans

A Montana legislator sent a female colleague harassing text messages in 2017 leading to his resignation as chairman of the state Tribal Relations Committee.

This information came to light today in an investigation reported by the Associated Press.

Montana Senate President Scott Sales, left, and House Speaker Austin Knudsen, both Republicans, are on opposite sides of the call for a special session
Corin Cates-Carney


Montana lawmakers have a little less than two weeks to decide whether to come back to Helena for a special legislative session, potentially the second in eight months.

“It’s going to be a very heavy lift to get the 76 votes,” Senate President Scott Sales said.

Montana Capitol in Helena.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

Republican state lawmakers are debating whether to call a special session of the Montana Legislature this July.

Republicans hold enough seats in the state Legislature to call a special session without any support from Democrats. But to do so, they need at least 76 of their 90 plus members in the Legislature to agree to it.

Montana Capitol dome, Helena.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

A Republican-led legislative committee is investigating state settlements paid out to public employees under the administration of Democratic Governor Steve Bullock. The Special Select Committee on State Settlement Accountability held its first meeting via phone conference Wednesday.

Office of the governor, budget and program planning.
William Marcus

The maneuvering to fix the state budget is still playing out following the special session earlier this month as some key pieces have yet to slide into place.

Lawmakers left the state Capitol about a week and a half ago with a package of bills that filled the state's projected $227 million budget shortfall. As a result of some of that work, Governor Steve Bullock announced Monday that state’s credit rating remains strong.

Sally Mauk: Welcome to a special edition of "Capitol Talk" our political analysis program I'm Sally Mauk And I'm joined by University of Montana Political Science Professor Rob Saldin and veteran Capitol Reporter Chuck Johnson.

Chuck, the Legislature met in special session for three days this week to deal with a $227 million budget shortfall. And they've come up with a combination of cuts and transfers and fees to deal with it but not with any new tax increases as the governor had proposed. Republicans of course control the House and Senate, and Chuck they got a lot of what they wanted out of this special session.

Montana capitol, Helena.
Jackie Yamanaka

The gavel banged down shortly after 1 o’clock this morning to bring the special legislative session to a close after lawmakers passed a series of bills to address Montana's projected $227 million budget shortfall.

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