Montana Public Radio

Daniel Zolnikov

Bill Prohibits Drivers License Revocation For Student Loan Default

Mar 30, 2015
Rep. Moffie Funk (D) - HD82
Montana Legislature

A Montana law that allows the state to revoke peoples’ drivers licenses for defaulting on their student loans appears headed for the scrap heap.

On Friday a bill to take away the state’s revocation authority passed the Senate and is now headed to Governor Steve Bullock’s desk.

The revocation law was passed in 1997, and gives the state the right to revoke professional licenses, too, like ones needed to work as a nurse or engineer.

Kalispell Regional Healthcare (KRH) announced Tuesday that an email data breach this summer may have exposed the personal and private healthcare information of nearly 130,000 of its patients.

A pair of bills intended to increase privacy in the digital age are making their way through the Montana legislature. They were each heard today in the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will vote on them later.

Online Privacy Bills On Thursday's Legislative Agenda

Feb 18, 2015
Montana Capitol.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

Thursday at the Montana Capitol, legislators will hear bills to increase Montanans' privacy on their iPads, smartphones, and even online.

Bill Would Force Police To Prove Confiscated Assets Were Used For Crime

Feb 17, 2015
Rep. Kelly McCarthy.
Montana Legislature

Today at the Montana Capitol, legislators joined the national conversation about civil asset forfeiture, or, put simply, police taking money and property before they charge someone. The bill’s sponsor, Democratic Representative Kelly McCarthy, is teaming up with Republican Representative Daniel Zolnikov to promote House Bill 463, which he says would force police to prove that the assets they confiscate were used in a crime.

Daniel Zolnikov (R) HD 45
Montana Legislature

Billings Republican Daniel Zolnikov claims police are abusing laws that let them seize property from suspected drug offenders. He claims police seized $10,000 in cash from an out of state motorist pulled over for expired plates. Zolnikov says police took the money even though the man was never charged with a crime.

“This, mister chairman and members of the committee, is what I would consider literal highway robbery,” Zolnikov testified.

He says he can’t name the citizen, or the agency involved, because the case is still being litigated.

Changes To Minor-In-Possesion Laws On Friday's Legislative Agenda

Feb 12, 2015
Montana Capitol.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

Friday, Montana Legislators hear a bill to let underage drinkers phone in help for a friend who’s had too many without fearing getting an MIP.

Daniel Zolnikov is sponsoring House Bill 412.

Game Wardens Under Scrutiny At The Montana Legislature

Feb 12, 2015
Montana Capitol
William Marcus

Rogue game wardens were spotlighted in a hearing at the Montana Capitol this morning. Republican Representative Dale Mortensen introduced House Bill 281 to make game wardens answer to the same laws as other peace officers.

Proponents like Representative Daniel Zolnikov cited cases in which he says wardens abused power.

Bills On Privacy While Driving Heard At The Montana Legislature

Feb 9, 2015
Daniel Zolnikov (R) HD 45
Montana Legislature

Today at the Montana Capitol, legislators heard about privacy.

Protection For Whistleblowers, Reporters On Thursday's Legislative Agenda

Jan 21, 2015
Montana Capitol, Helena, MT.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

Republican Representative Daniel Zolnikov is out to protect whistleblowers and the reporters they talk to. Or at least, he’ll try with House Bill 229 at the state Capitol on Thursday.

Zolnikov says the bill would prohibit police from issuing a subpoena to get emails or reporter's notebooks revealing confidential sources.

“They can’t force the press to share who gave you that email, but they can go get the emails. Your emails. The press’s emails. That’s a big loophole.”