Montana Public Radio

Greg Hertz

The Montana Capitol
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

The Montana Supreme Court has blocked several subpoenas filed by legislative Republicans ordering the justices to produce internal communications about pending legislation by Monday.

The Supreme Court Friday also blocked a subpoena that would have required Court Administrator Beth McLaughlin to appear Monday before a special legislative committee investigating judicial conduct, and to turn over her state computer. 

Sen. Greg Hertz (R) SD6
Montana Legislature

Republicans in the state Senate have advanced a bill to simplify the state's income tax code from seven tax brackets to two.

The proposal would tax the first $20,500 Montanans make at 4.7% and income above that at 6.5%. That would compare to Montana’s current system in which the top marginal income bracket taxes people making over around $19,000 a year at 6.9%

Raw Milk Debate Returns To The Legislature

Mar 19, 2021
Bottle of milk on a table in front of cows in a pasture.

HELENA — A bill gaining momentum at the Legislature would allow Montanans to sell food from their homes directly to consumers without any government oversight. It would also legalize the direct sale of raw milk.

Tax calculator

Montana lawmakers advanced three bills Tuesday requested by Gov. Greg Gianforte to reduce taxes for residents and business owners. They tabled another bill that would have broadened the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit.

Gianforte and his Republican colleagues in the statehouse say the proposed tax cuts are key to carrying out the governor’s so-called Montana Comeback Plan. 

The Session Week 8: Taxes, Public Health And Labor Unions

Feb 22, 2021

As of midday Friday 918 bills had been introduced and Gov. Greg Gianforte had signed three bills into law. This week we’re watching legislation on tax policy, public health and labor unions.

Hearing room at the Montana Capitol.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

Montana’s governor is calling this "Tax Reform Week." Gov. Greg Gianforte’s proposals to change a slew of tax policies for residents and businesses got their first hearing in the state Legislature. An income tax cut proposal received the most debate Thursday morning. 

Correction: A previous version of this story identified the speaker interrupting Passieri as Wildlife Committee Chair Republican Ross H. Fitzgerald. Seth Berglee, another Republican on the committee, was the one speaking. YPR News regrets the error.

Montana lawmakers heard impassioned testimony this week on a bill that would allow non-tribal members to hunt on privately owned lands within Native American reservations.

As of mid-day Friday, 594 bills had been introduced and Gov. Greg Gianforte had signed one bill into law. This week, we’re watching bills that would cut taxes, implement “right to work” policies and end same-day voter registration in Montana.

Montana State Senate
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

Montana Republicans' dominance on election day included winning a stronger conservative majority in the statehouse for the 2021 legislative session. Republicans appear to have flipped several seats in Montana’s House of Representatives, and at least one seat in the state Senate, making the Republican majority in both chambers ironclad.

Montana Capitol building.
Nick Mott / MTPR

The state’s budget has healthy reserves to make up for revenue shortfalls amid economic fallout due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to state finance experts.

On Wednesday, Legislative Fiscal Division staff presented a report predicting the state’s reserves can cover projected losses through the next fiscal year, but that the rainy day fund will be weaker by the 2023 biennium.