Montana Public Radio

Derek Skees

The Session Week 15: Parental Rights And Competing Tax Bills For Recreational Marijuana

Apr 12, 2021

As of mid-day Friday, 1,282 bills had been introduced and at least 153 had been signed into law. This week we’re watching the ideological split within the GOP over recreational marijuana taxes, proposed changes to social safety net eligibility and parental rights.

Gov. Gianforte is one of Montana's new cases of COVID. The marijuana bills are now in the Senate's lap. The House votes to abide by the First Amendment. The Republican PSC opposes a Republican Colstrip bill. And the Republican renaissance in Montana owes a lot to the legacy of former Governor Stan Stephens.

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

The Montana House has passed largely along party lines three different proposals to regulate and tax recreational marijuana. Lawmakers faced a looming procedural deadline Thursday and are now handing the policy debate over to the Senate.

Lawmakers expect major changes in the coming weeks on bills to shape Montana’s adult use cannabis regulations.

Missoula Republican Rep. Mike Hopkins is carrying one of the proposals.

“There is a good bit more to the story to be told,” Hopkins said.

Marijuana in jars on a shop shelf.

Two competing proposals introduced Monday outline how state lawmakers would regulate the legalization of recreational marijuana in Montana.

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana lawmakers advanced Thursday a strict dress code proposed by Republicans that would apply to House legislators, legislative staff and members of the media working inside the Capitol.

Rep. Derek Skees (R) HD-11.
Montana Legislature

Montana lawmakers have reversed a vote and now are rejecting a policy that would add regulations for internet providers following the bill’s passage over the weekend when only Republicans on the committee were in attendance to vote.

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.

Committee Hears Bill Barring State Funding For Radio

Feb 25, 2021
Rep. Derek Skees, R-Kalispell, chair of the House Rules Committee, listens as representatives debate over an amendment to “blast” motion rules on Jan. 8, 2019.
Shaylee Ragar / UM Legislative News Service

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

HELENA — Lawmakers on the House Energy, Technology and Federal Relations committee heard public testimony on a bill that would bar state funds from supporting radio stations.

House Committee Narrowly Approves Good Samaritan Expansion

Feb 23, 2021
Montana House of Representatives.
Montana Public Radio

Good Samaritan laws provide immunity for people reporting crimes. A bill advancing in the Montana Legislature would expand those laws to also apply to sex workers.

A bill before the Montana legislature would repeal a law that requires a majority of voters to approve proposed nuclear power facilities.

Representative Derek Skees, a Republican from Kalispell, introduced House Bill 273 and told a House committee Monday that the Legislature should decide whether to grant a nuclear facility approval.