Montana Public Radio

Jenny Eck

Rep. Jonathan Windy Boy (D), HD-32.
Mike Albans

A Montana legislator sent a female colleague harassing text messages in 2017 leading to his resignation as chairman of the state Tribal Relations Committee.

This information came to light today in an investigation reported by the Associated Press.

Montana Capitol, Helena, MT.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

A committee of Montana lawmakers unanimously approved a revised sexual harassment and discrimination policy for the state legislature Thursday. The policy they approved, though, dropped provisions that would make training mandatory for legislators themselves.

A vote count released Monday morning on the proposed special session of the Montana Legislature shows the call is not possible without votes from both sides of the aisle.

Republicans are so divided on the proposed special session that it won’t happen without support from the Democratic minority.

House Minority Leader Jenny Eck Won't Seek Re-Election

Jun 19, 2018
Rep. Jenny Eck (D) HD79.
Montana Legislature

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — House Minority Leader Jenny Eck of Helena says she won't be seeking re-election.

The Montana Capitol in Helena.
Mike Albans

Montana lawmakers are drafting new rules about how to handle harassment and discrimination in the legislative branch. 2018 has brought an unprecedented amount of legislation around the country on the subject of sexual harassment policies for legislative members. That’s according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Rep. Jenny Eck (D) HD79.
Montana Legislature

Now that Montana is a few months removed from a special legislative session called by Governor Bullock to balance the state budget, Montana Public Radio is checking in with Democratic and Republican legislative leaders to get their thoughts on what’s happened since they left Helena.

Party leaders on both sides of the aisle have blamed each other for some of the results of cuts in state spending made amid the more than $200 million budget shortfall. The greatest public outcry is coming over the more than $49 million cut from the state's health department.

Last week we aired a conversation about the budget with Representative Nancy Ballance, a Hamilton Republican and legislative finance leader. Today, we’re hearing from Representative Jenny Eck, a Helena Democrat.

GOP Budget Plan Hopes To 'Corral' Governor

Nov 13, 2017
Rep. Rob Cook
Montana Legislature

Shelby prison deal could be Bullock’s “one exit”

As state lawmakers lay the groundwork for a special legislative session to tackle Montana’s $227 budget shortfall, the proposed GOP deal for how to plug the gap is coming into focus.

At the same time, two independent sources have confirmed to the Montana Free Press that Gov. Steve Bullock, a Democrat, in “in talks” with top executives of CoreCivic, the owners of a private prison in Shelby that is at the center of the 2017 special session’s most contentious proposal. CoreCivic is offering to return $30 million in state money set aside for the eventual purchase of the 664-bed prison in exchange for a 10-year renewal on its contract to operate the facility. That contract is up in 2019.

Governor Bullock, with Budget Director Dan Villa. Governor Bullock released his revenue and spending plan Nov. 15 at the Capitol in Helena.
Corin Cates-Carney

State revenues have again fallen short of lawmakers’ expectations and could trigger funding cuts across state agencies in the coming months.

The big state budget bill landed on Governor Steve Bullock’s desk Monday, one of the final acts of the 2017 legislative session, which was gaveled to a close Friday.

MTPR’s Capitol Reporter Corin Cates-Carney joins us for a look at what Montana lawmakers did and didn’t accomplish since convening in January.

Gov. Steve Bullock.
Freddy Monares - UM Legislative News Service

The 2017 legislative session came to a chaotic end this morning. Democrats and Republicans fought until the final hour over funding long-term public works projects.

When the final gavel struck, Republicans leaders said they’re proud of their party’s unity and keeping government growth in check. Democrats also talked up their wins, but expressed frustration in being unable to accomplish their major goals.

Pages