Montana Public Radio

Jon Sesso

Montana Senate
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

The Montana Legislature is running out of time to pass a bill to reauthorize Medicaid expansion before a deadline early this week.

The window for the Medicaid expansion bill to pass out of the Senate closes Tuesday.

On Saturday, Senate Minority Leader Jon Sesso, a Democrat from Butte, attempted to bring that bill, HB 658, up for a debate on the Senate floor.

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

Bills to continue Medicaid expansion — and to buy more coal — have nothing in common, unless you want one, or both, to pass. That fight, and whether transparency is good or bad for legislating top our discussion tonight on Capitol Talk.

Montana Capitol.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

A critical vote over the future of Medicaid expansion could come down to the votes one or two state senators Thursday. That’s after debate was delayed Wednesday on the health care program for low-income adults.

Senate Majority Whip Steve Fitzpatrick, a Republican from Great Falls, says the vote will be close on House Bill 658, which is arguably the most high-profile bill of the 2019 legislative session.

State Budget Bill Is Flying Through The Legislature

Apr 9, 2019
Sen. Jon Sesso, D-Butte, speaks on the Montana Senate floor. Sesso serves as Senate Minority Leader.
Shaylee Ragar / UM Legislative News Service

HELENA -- Montana’s budget will return to the House of Representatives after it was amended in the Senate last week and passed 28-21 Monday.

Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Carl Glimm, a Republican from Kila, says it’s typical for the Senate to tweak House Bill 2, the legislation that outlines the state’s $10.3 billion, two-year budget.

Montana Senate
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

The $10.3 billion state budget is cruising through the Montana Legislature. It passed its first votes in the state Senate today.

Montana Legislature Senate chamber.
Nick Mott / Montana Public Radio

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A Montana Senate committee voted Thursday to give additional funding to schools and the public defender's office while restoring some money to the state Department of Revenue to better serve taxpayers and collect revenue.

Montana Capitol building.
Nick Mott / MTPR

A new plan to cap state government debt when paying for public works projects is on a fast track in the state Legislature. It’s a potential breakthrough in the Legislature’s long fight over borrowing money to pay for large scale infrastructure.

The so-called Infrastructure Development and Economic Accountability Act passed out of House Appropriations unanimously, and without debate, hours after it receiving its first hearing Thursday.

Montana Republicans Retain Legislative Control

Nov 9, 2018
Montana Legislature balance of power, 2019 vs 2017.
Timothy Pierce, Community News Service, UM School of Journalism

Although all votes have yet to be counted, Montana Republicans will hold a legislative majorities in both the Montana House of Representatives and Senate.

The majorities will give Republicans the power to elect leaders of both the Senate and the House and choose committee chairpersons at upcoming party caucuses in Helena.

the 2017 Rice Ridge Fire near Seeley Lake
Inciweb

The State’s fire fighting savings account started this month with the second lowest balance since it was created a decade ago.

There’s only about $4 million in the fund’s reserves for this fire season. That’s about a fifth of what the state needs to cover an average fire season bill.

Montana Capitol.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

Revenue projections indicate the state will likely have enough money at the end of the fiscal year to backfill $45 million in cuts made to state agencies during last year’s special legislative session.

“We are extremely hopeful,” says Representative Nancy Ballance, the Republican chair of the Legislative Finance Committee, which met Monday morning.

Pages