Montana Public Radio

Kristen Juras

Adrian Jawort, a Northern Cheyenne writer and lobbyist for Montana Indigenous Vote, speaks to a crowd outside the Capitol during a "Rainbow Rally" on March 15, 2021 to protest bills moving through the Legislature that target LGTBQ Montanans
Shaylee Ragar / Montana Public Radio

Montana lawmakers are carrying a handful of bills that would impact transgender people, adding to the record number of proposals seen across the country this year to restrict trans kids from playing in school sports and accessing gender-affirming health care. Several of those policies are nearing Gov. Greg Gianforte’s desk.

Demonstrators gathered for a "Rainbow Rally" at the Montana State Capitol Monday, March 15, 2021 to protest bills moving through the state Legislature that would impact the LGBTQ community.
Shaylee Ragar / Montana Public Radio

The Montana Capitol steps were submerged under a sea of rainbow colors Monday as a group rallied in protest of bills moving through the Legislature that would impact LGBTQ residents.

"We want them to know we’re here, we’re queer and we’re not going anywhere," Shawn Reagor, an organizer with the Montana Human Rights Network, told a crowd outside the state Capitol Monday afternoon. 

On Thursday, Montana's Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte put his support behind a bill supporters say would protect religious freedom. Opponents say it would allow for discrimination of LGBTQ Montanans.

Capitol Talk: Antifa; 'Religious Freedom', And Limits On Local Control

Feb 19, 2021

Bills heard this week at the Capitol seek to: limit the ability of local governments and health departments to require restrictions during a public health emergency; limit services to LGBTQ people in the name of religious freedom; make Montana a right-to-work state; declare antifa a domestic terrorist organization — even though there isn't such an organization.

And after years of criticizing dark money groups, former Gov. Steve Bullock raises eyebrows by taking a position with a PAC tied to dark money.

Listen now on Capitol Talk with Sally Mauk, Holly Michels and Rob Saldin.

Lawmakers Pose Tough Questions To Gianforte’s Top DPHHS Nominee

Feb 12, 2021
Eliza Wiley / Montana Free Press

Gov. Greg Gianforte’s pick to lead the Department of Public Health and Human Services, the state’s largest department, faced robust questioning in a confirmation hearing this week.

A gavel and scale of justice.

Montana lawmakers are considering a bill that would give the governor more power over judicial appointments.

Senate Bill 140 would give the governor the ability to directly appoint district court and Supreme Court judge vacancies until the next election by eliminating the Judicial Nominating Commission. 

Capitol Talk: Guns, Voting And An Executive Power-Up

Feb 5, 2021

Gov. Greg Gianforte wants to increase the power of Montana's executive branch. Meanwhile, U.S. Congressman Matt Rosendale loses a battle with the national Republican leadership. And state Legislature moves toward making it harder to vote and easier to carry concealed guns.

Listen now on Capitol Talk with Sally Mauk, Holly Michels and Rob Saldin.

Newly-inaugurated Gov. Greg Gianforte announced his first executive order Tuesday in an effort to make good on one of his key campaign promise — cutting regulations. Gianforte signed an order to create the Red Tape Relief Task Force, which is charged with reviewing state regulations on business and industry.

Gianforte Sworn In As Montana Governor

Jan 4, 2021

Greg Gianforte was sworn in as Montana’s 25th governor Monday. He’s the state’s first Republican chief executive in 16 years.

After taking his oath of office during a small, livestreamed ceremony at the Capitol, Gianforte said he will tackle Montana’s economic comeback by lowering taxes, improving infrastructure and cutting what he calls unnecessary red tape.

“Let me say loudly and clearly to job creators, entrepreneurs and business owners in our state and beyond: Montana is open for business,” he said.

The November general election is only three weeks away but thousands of Montanans are already voting. Political candidates are traveling across the state to drive up voter turnout.