Montana Public Radio

Greg Gianforte

'Capitol Talk' is MTPR's weekly legislative analysis program.
Montana Public Radio

The dispute between Republican legislative leadership and the state Supreme Court will likely continue after the legislative session ends. This as Montana joins several states in passing changes to voting laws — and those changes are already being challenged in court. And Friday, lawmakers reached a compromise on how to implement recreational marijuana.

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

A gavel and scale of justice.

04/23/21, 6:40 p.m. This story has been updated to reflect the latest action on Judge Levine's nomination.

The Montana Senate has rejected one of Former-Gov. Steve Bullock’s district court judge appointees and advanced another. A third appointee is still awaiting consideration. 

Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte received his second dose of a COVID vaccine on Friday. He and other Republican leaders are encouraging all Montanans to get their shots.

Tribal nation leaders and conservation groups sent a letter to Montana’s governor Tuesday urging him to veto two bison management bills.

The leaders of the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes, the Fort Belknap Indian Community and Blackfeet Nation, along with the InterTribal Buffalo Council, Defenders of Wildlife and other conservation groups, say the two bison bills will threaten tribal efforts to restore bison through “the unlawful delegation of state powers and the restrictive definition of wild bison.”

The third bill in a package meant to address the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons crisis in Montana was signed into law Thursday.

Members of Montana’s American Indian Caucus along with family members of Selena Not Afraid, a Crow teenage girl who was found dead in January 2020, gathered for a signing ceremony at the Governor’s office.

“We're here not just because of Selena but Selena told me, ‘Don't stop, because there's other girls standing behind me,'” said Cheryl Horn, a prominent MMIW advocate and the aunt of Selena Not Afraid.

Montana lawmakers have narrowly voted down a proposal to create a panel that would decide which patients are eligible to receive Medicaid reimbursement for abortion-related services. A slate of other bills to restrict access to abortion are awaiting consideration by the governor.

Sen. Carl Glimm (R) SD-2
Montana Legislature

Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte has signed a bill into law that aims to protect religious freedom. Opponents say the policy will harm LGBTQ people.

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.

The Montana House of Representatives sent a bill to Gov. Greg Gianforte’s desk Wednesday that would allow state-inspected Montana meat to be sold across state lines.

Lawmakers Navigate Separation Of Powers Challenges

Apr 19, 2021
Majority Leader Sue Vinton speaks during a Special Joint Select Committee on Judicial Transparency and Accountability, April 19, 2021.
Montana Legislature

HELENA — Gov. Greg Gianforte and the Legislature are locked in a legal battle over a new law giving the governor sweeping powers to appoint judges.