Montana Public Radio

Bob Brown

A gavel and scale of justice.
iStock

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A lawsuit has been filed to challenge a legislative proposal to change the way Supreme Court justices would be elected in Montana.

The 2021 meeting of Montana lawmakers was defined by Republicans' ironclad majority in both chambers with the backing of the first GOP governor in 16 years and work that began during a pandemic. MTPR’s Shaylee Ragar and YPR’s Kevin Trevellyan have been in the halls and zoom meetings for the past 80 days. Here’s their breakdown of the final day of action.

Shaylee Ragar Kevin, the Republican caucus held a press conference after the session had officially adjourned, and they were in high spirits.

Lawmakers Grind Through Marijuana Implementation Amendments

Apr 16, 2021
Cannabis bud.
iStock

HELENA - Senators on a special committee will attempt to roll three bills into one to build Montana’s recreational marijuana program. 

Capitol Talk: Beasts, Budgets And Voting Rights

Mar 26, 2021

Gov. Greg Gianforte makes headlines after trapping a Yellowstone wolf — while bills targeting wolves head toward passage. Republican lawmakers want to eliminate same-day voter registration. And the so-called "beast bill" — directing how billions in federal COVID relief money will be spent — crawls forward.

Listen now on Capitol Talk with Sally Mauk, Holly Michels and Rob Saldin.

New Montana Law Allowing Judicial Appointments Challenged

Mar 18, 2021

A bipartisan group is petitioning the Montana Supreme Court to declare unconstitutional a bill allowing the governor to directly appoint district court judges and state Supreme Court justices during vacancies.

'Capitol Talk' is MTPR's weekly legislative analysis program.
Montana Public Radio

Bills to continue Medicaid expansion — and to buy more coal — have nothing in common, unless you want one, or both, to pass. That fight, and whether transparency is good or bad for legislating top our discussion tonight on Capitol Talk.

Glenn Schenavar leads a meeting of sportsmen concerned wolves are depleting elk and deer in Kalispell January 30, 2019.
Nicky Ouellet / MTPR

A meeting about Montana’s wolf population turned testy Wednesday night in Kalispell.

At one point, a man stood up amidst the sea of green camo, flannel and down and called out that he’s not advocating that everybody go out and buy poison. But, “If we have to kiss heiny to the Senate or whoever it is and get it done legislatively, maybe that’s what we ought to do.”

Grizzly statue and Main Hall on the University of Montana campus in Missoula.
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

Montana voters Tuesday passed the Six Mill Levy for the eighth time in the past 70 years.

The property tax provides about 10 percent of the state’s appropriation to higher education and helps support approximately 40,000 in-state students.

Bill Would Allow Counties To Make Initial Attack On Wildfires

Feb 17, 2017
HB-481 would allow counties to have the initial attack authority on wildfires.
Inciweb

A bill entering the Montana House would allow counties to have the initial attack authority on wildfires if they believe they can move quicker, or have more resources than whoever is in charge of the land.

The Montana Capitol in Helena.
Mike Albans

A group of Republican-led lawmakers has pushed forward an effort to eliminate Montana’s office of Political Practices. The bill introduced by Derek Skees, a Republican from Kalispell, passed out of a judiciary committee of state representatives today, on a party-line vote.

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