Montana Public Radio

Brad Tschida

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes Water Compact narrowly passed the state Legislature in 2015 after more than a decade of negotiation. It settles water rights in and around the Flathead Reservation.
David Wiley (CC-BY-2)

A group of 27 state Republican legislators are asking federal lawmakers to hold a hearing on the federal Montana Water Rights Protection Act in Kalispell. The group includes prominent opponents to the legislation.

If passed, the bill would be the largest water-rights settlement agreement in history between the U.S. Government and a federally recognized tribe. The Montana Water Rights Protection Act would settle a decades-long dispute over thousands of water-rights claims filed by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.

North Higgins Ave. in Missoula was mostly empty on the morning of April 3, 2020.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

The Montana coronavirus task force is expected to move forward with a gradual, phased reopening of the state after stay-at-home and other closure orders expire Friday at midnight.

On the same day last week that Gov. Steve Bullock announced the forthcoming plan, Republican legislative leaders launched a Facebook group calling for a strategy to transition out of the COVID-19 crisis.

Listen now on Campaign Beat: A state legislator stands by his calls for violence against 'socialists.' Montana's two senators split their votes on impeachment. Democrats running for governor are down to two candidates. The AG race has a new twist. And did Barack Obama urge Gov. Bullock to change his mind about a Senate run?

Montana Capitol building.
Nick Mott / Montana Public Radio

The Montana Legislature passed 375 bills before it adjourned late last week. Gov. Steve Bullock must now decide which of them he will sign or veto.

At an end of session press conference Bullock sounded pleased.

“Dang near every proposal that I asked this legislative body to seriously consider will be making its way to my desk." he said.

'Capitol Talk': Legislature Wraps-Up; Campaign Season Heats Up

Apr 26, 2019

Tonight on Capitol Talk: Big bills that passed, and ones that didn't; the split in the Republican party — and its consequences; Gov. Bullock's pending big announcement; and Attorney General Tim Fox's fondness for chicken.

The House chamber at the Montana Legislature.
Nick Mott / Montana Public Radio

The Montana Legislature adjourned Thursday, sending a $10 billion state budget to Gov. Steve Bullock’s desk. Republican and Democratic leaders say their parties each picked up political wins and loses.

The two Republican Majority leaders in the House and Senate struck different tones in their final messages of the 2019 legislative session.

Hospital monitor.
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

A Medicaid expansion policy with new requirements for some low-income adults enrolled in the program passed its first major vote today on the Montana House floor.

The so-called Medicaid Reform and Integrity Act cleared the initial vote 61-39, despite objections from the Republican majority leadership. 

Corin Cates-Carney

While much of the state was enjoying a sunny St. Patrick’s Day, state lawmakers and scores of people concerned about health care spent all day Saturday inside the state Capitol debating two competing visions for the future of Medicaid expansion in Montana.

Bill Would Criminalize Doctor-Assisted Death

Jan 29, 2019
Montana Capitol building.
Nick Mott / MTPR

HELENA -- Montana lawmakers are considering a bill that would invalidate consent as a legal defense for doctor-assisted deaths, meaning doctors could be charged with homicide if they help a terminally-ill person die.

House Bill 161 would allow Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to only use facts and science when making decisions about fish and wildlife management.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

Wildlife and hunting advocacy groups are protesting legislation that they say will reduce public input on wildlife management decisions in Montana.

When the state makes decisions related to fish and wildlife -- social science, people’s attitudes, opinions or preferences shouldn’t be a part of the decision making process.

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