Montana Public Radio

Denise Hayman

Legislation limiting who can handle absentee ballots during election season cleared the Montana Legislature Tuesday largely along party lines.

An initially uncontroversial bill granting the secretary of state’s office rulemaking authority to boost election security was amended with the rule to prevent someone from turning in somebody else’s absentee ballot if they’re paid to do so.

Sponsor and Ulm Republican Rep. Wendy McKamey said the provision is a needed voting safeguard.

Disclosure: This report covers proposed policy that could impact the funding for this radio station. We’re airing it as part of our ongoing coverage of the 67th Montana legislature.

A Montana bill that would’ve barred state funding to support radio stations is likely dead.

Montana Capitol bulding in Helena, MT.
Shaylee Rager / UM Legislative News Service

Montana Republicans in the state House of Representatives have advanced four bills that would make accessing abortion more difficult.

NorthWestern Energy builidng in Butte, MT.
Nora Saks / Montana Public Radio

A party-line vote late in a Montana House committee Friday is advancing the controversial bill that gives NorthWestern Energy incentives to buy a larger share of the coal-fired power plant in Colstrip.

But the so-called Montana Energy Security Act is moving to the House floor for debate significantly changed.

Bill Would Help Communities Prepare For Hazardous Materials

Jan 25, 2017

HELENA - About 10 people testified Wednesday for a bill that would create a task force to help communities prepare for and respond to incidents involving hazardous materials. 

Democratic Rep. Denise Hayman of Bozeman said she’s carrying House Bill 296, "to bring the experts together to discuss how we might be better prepared to respond to a disaster, especially in our more remote, rural areas."


The Montana House Thursday narrowly voted against closing the Montana Developmental Center in Boulder.  But hours later house members reconsidered, and will debate and vote on the measure again this afternoon. 

Montana Capitol.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

The lone bill barely alive at the Montana Legislature that expand Medicaid coverage to the working poor is now tangled in a procedural fight over the House rules.

It will be an interpretation of those rules that will determine whether the full House gets to debate this bill on the floor.

This fight over Medicaid Expansion began long before the Republican-controlled House Human Services Committee held yesterday’s hearing on Senate Bill 405.

But it came to a head during executive action held after the four and a half hour hearing on this bill.