Montana Public Radio

JP Pomnichowski

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 lawmakers are working out plans for what their 2021 session will look like and there’s still plenty up in the air, like whether they’ll be required to wear face masks.

Legislative staff have explored whether local or state health rules, like Gov. Steve Bullock’s statewide mask mandate, apply to legislators in the Capitol building. Staff told lawmakers during an interim planning committee meeting Monday that there’s no clear answer.

Montana lawmakers on June 9 formed a bipartisan working group to consider the possibility of a remote 2021 legislative session. Legislators also sparred over the importance of wearing face masks during physical meetings amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Montana Capitol building.
Nick Mott / MTPR

Lawmakers reached a tentative deal Tuesday on a policy to report and investigate harassment, discrimination and retaliation involving lawmakers and legislative employees.

A conference committee recommended lawmakers rejected a House proposal that the policy also apply to lobbyists, media and members of the public.

Taylor Brown: How The Voice Of Agriculture Found His Senatorial Voice

Jan 26, 2015
Michael Wright

Of all the people on the Montana Senate Agriculture committee, there’s one who always seems to be having more fun.

“To me,” said Sen. Taylor Brown, R-Huntley, “that’s like recess.”

Brown, in his second Senate term, serves as the committee’s chair. He knows the issues and the people, and the people know him. For many years his voice reported farm news to every corner of the state for Northern Broadcasting System, which he now owns.