Montana Public Radio

Jon Sesso

The sign outside the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices Office.
Steve Jess / Montana Public Radio

State legislative leaders are no longer taking applications for the job of Montana's top political cop. They've now started the process of selecting the next commissioner of political practices.

In a meeting this morning, four Montana House and Senate leaders discussed  how to move forward in replacing current Political Practices Commissioner Jonathan Motl, whose term ended in January.

Funding to fix ailing public works projects cleared the first legislative hurdle in the joint appropriations subcommittee on Long Range Planning.

The panel voted to approve House Bills 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11 and 14 with only minor changes.


Capitol Connections: Future of TVMT

Jan 27, 2017

In this week’s, Capitol Connections – the topic is TVMT, the service provides statewide, televised coverage of the Montana Legislature and state government. Essentially it is Montana’s C-SPAN.

Over the weekend, the Helena Independent Record had a story with the headline: “Senate Passes Bill Allowing State Control of Legislative Coverage.”  It was in response to the final approval given to Senate Bill 40 last week in the Montana Senate.


The Montana Capitol in Helena.
Mike Albans

This week, Congressman Ryan Zinke had his confirmation hearing this past week to become the next Secretary of the Interior. Assuming that Zinke is confirmed, Gov. Bullock will soon call a special election to fill Zinke's Congressional seat. Republican Ken Miller is the latest new candidate for this position.

Part of this week's conversation also includes a proposed bill that would set up long-term financing for future infrastructure projects by using coal tax money, and several bills aiming to update Montana's sexual assault statutes.

Lastly, the hosts discuss the women's marches taking place across the country the day after Trump's inauguration and whether this is the start of a long-term movement.

Join Sally Mauk, Chuck Johnson, and Rob Saldin now for this episode of  "Capitol Talk."

Montana Lawmakers Call For Civility, Bi-Partisanship On Legislature's Opening Day

Jan 2, 2017
Gov. Steve Bullock being sworn in for his second term, Jan. 2, 2017 at the state Capitol in Helena, MT.
Freddy Monares - Legislative News Service

State lawmakers filled the halls of Montana's Capitol Monday for the first day of the 2017 legislative session. As they entered the legislative chambers for the first time, party leaders promised civil, bi-partisan work, despite upcoming fights over the direction of the state budget and policy. 

Montana Capitol.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

Montana lawmakers got a financial checkup on state pensions Tuesday. After the pension system was reformed in 2013, officials with Montana Public Employees’ Retirement Board say most pension plans are improving.

State Budget Top Priority For Montana Lawmakers Going Into 2017 Session

Nov 14, 2016
Montana Legislature.
Corin Cates-Carney

The state budget is the top priority for lawmakers and the governor ahead of the 2017 legislative session that convenes January 2. Yellowstone Public Radio’s Jackie Yamanaka and MTPR’s Capitol Reporter Corin Cates-Carney talked to the newly elected legislative leaders and the governor about their priorities going into the 2017 session.

Berkeley Pit in Butte, MT
Flickr user Christopher (CC-BY-2.0)

On Monday night, the EPA presented its five-year review of the Superfund cleanup in Butte to a room full of frustrated residents and officials. David McCumber, editor of The Montana Standard talks to MTPR's Nora Saks about why the meeting got heated.

The Montana Senate had been expected to wrap up its business and head home this afternoon. Instead, Senators debated for more than an hour on one of the governor’s most controversial nominees.

In the end, Jonathan Motl became the first Commissioner of political practices to be confirmed by the Montana Senate in nearly a decade. Appointed by Democratic Governor Steve Bullock, Motl has drawn fire from many Republicans who claim he targets conservatives for campaign violations, like Miles City Republican Eric Moore.

Early Education Funding Fails To Make The Cut In Senate Budget

Apr 9, 2015
State budgets.
(PD)

The Republican-controlled Senate today gave preliminary approval to the state’s main budget bill. The GOP majority allowed only a few technical amendments and resisted attempts by Democrats to add additional funding or programs to House Bill 2. This includes a Bullock Administration proposal to fund early childhood education.

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