Montana Public Radio

Greg Gianforte

The Session Week 13: Judges, Elections And Recreational Marijuana

Mar 29, 2021

As of mid-day Friday, 1,237 bills had been introduced and at least 74 had been signed into law. We’re hitting the time of the session when more are on the way. This week we’re watching the legal marijuana bill take shape, lawmakers consider the former governor’s district court judge nominees, and proposals to change elections in the state.

Capitol Talk: Beasts, Budgets And Voting Rights

Mar 26, 2021

Gov. Greg Gianforte makes headlines after trapping a Yellowstone wolf — while bills targeting wolves head toward passage. Republican lawmakers want to eliminate same-day voter registration. And the so-called "beast bill" — directing how billions in federal COVID relief money will be spent — crawls forward.

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

Gianforte Takes Wolf Trapping Course Following Warning

Mar 25, 2021

Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte took a three-hour long wolf trapping class Wednesday night after receiving a written warning in February for trapping and killing a wolf without having taken the required certification course.

Gianforte was among 200 people on the virtual class hosted by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks managers, wardens and specialists, according to a spokesperson.

"You have to have the wolf certification class and then on your license it will show valid for wolves once this class is taken, it will show up on your license," said Region 1 Game Warden Jon Obst.

Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte is calling his failure to take a required wolf trapping course before trapping and shooting a radio-collared wolf last month a “slight misstep.”

Gianforte was asked about the incident in a press conference Thursday.

"I made a mistake. I’m glad I was able to check the box last night. It was a good refresher for me but in hindsight I wouldn’t have done anything differently," Gianforte said.

A spokesperson for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks says Gianforte took the required course Wednesday night after receiving a written warning.

Rep. Barry Usher, R-Billings, speaks on a bill to criminalize bullying in schools at the request of a group of school resource officers. Jan. 21, 2019.
Shaylee Ragar / UM Legislative News Service

A key policy in Gov. Greg Gianforte’s plan for tax cuts in Montana narrowly failed in the House on Thursday.

Grey wolf in Yellowstone Park.
Jim Peaco / National Park Service

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte received a warning from wildlife officials after killing a radio-collared wolf near Yellowstone National Park without first taking a mandated trapper education course — a violation of state hunting regulations, officials said Tuesday.

The Session Week 12: Budget In The House, Windfall Of Federal Cash, Rules For Marijuana

Mar 22, 2021

As of mid-day Friday, 1,183 bills have been introduced and 60 have been signed into law. This week we’re watching the state budget, recreational marijuana and bills that would carry impacts for LGBTQ people.

Capitol Talk: Budget Puzzle, Lawsuits And The Limits Of Public Input

Mar 19, 2021

The many moving parts of the state budget have pushed lawmakers to extend the session — but Montana's Legislature isn't the state's only busy branch.

Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen has filed yet another lawsuit against the Biden Administration. At the same time, prominent Montanans are suing Gov. Greg Gianforte over his effort to directly appoint judges.

And, as a racist social media post by a Republican lawmaker resurfaces, Montanans are learning that overwhelming public opposition to legislation does not guarantee a bill's defeat.

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

Adam Meier

The Montana Senate Thursday confirmed Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte’s nominee to lead the state health department.

Adam Meier will be the next director of the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services. DPHHS is the state’s largest agency, nearly half of the state’s general fund goes toward paying for it and its programs. 

New Montana Law Allowing Judicial Appointments Challenged

Mar 18, 2021

A bipartisan group is petitioning the Montana Supreme Court to declare unconstitutional a bill allowing the governor to directly appoint district court judges and state Supreme Court justices during vacancies.