Montana Public Radio

Chuck Denowh

Bison in Yellowstone National Park.
Josh Burnham

Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte said Tuesday he is ending a bison management plan that would have allowed the wide-ranging animals to be restored in more areas of the state.

Chuck Denowh
James Ridle

As lawmakers implement a 2020 ballot initiative that legalized recreational marijuana, supporters of a bill that would change the ballot initiative process say it would increase transparency and protect Montanans from out-of-state interests. Critics say it would threaten the public’s ability to participate in policy.

A landowner advocacy group in Montana filed a complaint this week against Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks saying that the department has not thoroughly explored the consequences of allowing free-roaming wild bison in the state.

Anti-I-185 advertising has included a heavy presence at Montana convenience stores
Eric Whitney

Spending in the campaigns for and against I-185 has made it the most expensive ballot measure race in Montana history.

The ballot initiative to raise tobacco taxes and continue Medicaid expansion has drawn more than $17 million in spending from tobacco companies. Most has come from cigarette maker Altria, and it’s more than the company has ever spent on any proposed ballot measure nationwide. That’s according to records from the National Center for Money in Politics dating back to 2004.

Big Tobacco Violated Campaign Laws, Commissioner Finds

Sep 10, 2018

HELENA — Two Big Tobacco companies violated Montana’s campaign practices and disclosure laws as part of a campaign opposing a tobacco tax ballot initiative.

That’s according a 14-page decision issued by the state’s top campaign practices official.


The latest fundraising reports show that opponents of the ballot initiative proposing increasing Montana’s tobacco tax boosted contributions by $7.7 million in August. That’s nearly eight times what the campaign supporting the ballot issue raised in the same period.

Groups in support of I-185 held a press conference across from the Capitol in Helena Wednesday, August 22, 2018.
Corin Cates-Carney

A fight backed by hospitals and tobacco companies over an initiative that will appear on Montana ballots this November has amassed more than $2 million. 

Ballot Initiative 185 asks voters to raise taxes on all tobacco products, and for the first time tax e-cigarettes and vaping products, to fund health programs, including the state’s Medicaid expansion.

A Coal Mine in the Powder River basin.
U.S. Geological Survey

A federal judge’s ruling last week that requires the government to further consider climate change when planning coal development is getting mixed reactions from coal industry advocates and environmental groups.

The Montana Supreme Court Wednesday dealt a major blow to a measure that supporters say would have increased the rights of crime victims.

Montana voters passed "Marsy's Law" last November by a 66 percent majority. Wednesday, the state's high court declared it unconstitutional.

The Trump administration is repealing an Obama-era rule that forced energy companies to pay more royalties on fossil fuels. Coal producers call it a return to fairness, but environmental groups say the repeal allows companies to continue exploiting a decades-old loophole.

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