MTPR

Kim Abbott

Local Option Tax Bills Continue To Die In Committee

Mar 28, 2019

HELENA -- The third bill in the Montana Legislature that would provide a local option sales tax was tabled with a 12-6 vote in the House Taxation Committee Thursday.

House Bill 740 would have allowed local governments to adopt a voter-approved sales tax of up to 4 percent. No more than 40 percent of the tax revenue would go to property tax relief.

A policy to continue Medicaid expansion in Montana has passed its first vote in the state Legislature. The bill includes what some are labeling as work requirements for so-called able-bodied adults enrolled in the program.

The House Human Services committee voted 11-8 Tuesday evening to approve a heavily amended House Bill 658, carried by Republican Rep. Ed Buttrey.

Montana State Capitol.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

A proposal to add gender identity or expression and sexual orientation to Montana’s Human Rights Act is again up for debate in the state Legislature.

House Bill 465 would extend the statewide anti-discrimination policy to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. A similar proposal was voted down during the last legislative session, primarily along party lines with Republican opposing it.

Montana State Capitol.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

The Montana House gave initial approval Tuesday to an amended sexual harassment policy for the Legislature. The policy is in a package of rules that also includes a controversial plan to remove notices when proposed legislation might violate the state constitution.

Democrats protested, but ultimately voted alongside Republicans to approve new rules for their conduct in the Legislature.

The Republican House majority refused to bring a bill to the floor for debate that would give legal recourse to LGBTQ individuals in cases of discrimination.  House Bill 417 would have added sexual orientation and gender identity or expression to Montana’s Human Rights Act.


Lawmakers To Consider Tax Increase Bill

Jan 31, 2017

HELENA - The House Taxation Committee will hear a bill Wednesday that would raise taxes for Montanans making more than $400,000 a year in taxable income.

House Bill 330 would keep the tax rates the same until someone hits that $400,000 mark. Then the rate would go from 6.9 percent to 8.9 percent.

Healthy Montana Initiative

Organizers of the Healthy Montana Initiative - an effort to expand Medicaid to 70-thousand Montanans - conceded defeat today, but vow to continue to support the issue.

Healthy Montana Initiative president, Kim Abbott, says I-170 will not qualify for the November ballot.

OBPP

Governor Steve Bullock announced his support Wednesday for a voter initiative to expand Medicaid, called the Healthy Montana Initiative.

Medicaid expansion is an optional piece of the Federal Affordable Care Act, and Republican majorities in the Montana Legislature decided not to approve it in 2013.

Supporters of an initiative looking to expand Medicaid in the state can now begin gathering signatures to place the measure on the November ballot.

The Attorney General’s Office approved the Healthy Montana Plan this week after finding problems with earlier versions of the initiative.

Capitol Reporter Dan Boyce says opponents still believe the measure violates the state constitution. 

Martin Luther King Junior Day provides a time for us to reflect on equality.

The civil rights leader spent his life pursuing equal opportunity for all people, especially people of different racial backgrounds.

In this story, Capitol Reporter Dan Boyce speaks with Co-director of the Montana Human Rights Network Kim Abbott about the state of race issues in Montana.