Montana Public Radio

Matt Regier

The "beast bill" heads to the Senate. The attorney general sues over restrictions on the use of federal COVID relief money. Montana could lose millions in federal education money because of a bill banning transgender students from participating in women's sports. A bill to make it easier for Native Americans to vote is killed. And a progressive blogger ends his long run as an influential gadfly.

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

Montana lawmakers have advanced a first draft spending plan for more than $2 billion coming to the state from the latest federal stimulus package. Republicans are seeking to limit funding to cities and counties with some public health restrictions, like mask mandates, in place.

Republicans in the Montana House of Representatives endorsed a state budget Monday that outlines $12 billion in spending over two years. The Republican majority advanced the state spending package with every Democrat voting against it. 

Voters in Clinton, Montana, cast ballots during the 2016 elections.
Rebekah Welch / UM School of Journalism

Montana lawmakers voted down a bill Tuesday that would have made judicial elections partisan. It was just one of several policy changes aimed at changing how judges get to the bench that legislators are considering this session.

The Session Week 8: Taxes, Public Health And Labor Unions

Feb 22, 2021

As of midday Friday 918 bills had been introduced and Gov. Greg Gianforte had signed three bills into law. This week we’re watching legislation on tax policy, public health and labor unions.

Montana lawmakers added $1 billion back into a preliminary outline of the state health department’s biennial budget. The lawmakers overseeing state health finances voted unanimously to restore the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services budget.

Montana Capitol bulding in Helena, MT.
Shaylee Rager / UM Legislative News Service

Montana Republicans in the state House of Representatives have advanced four bills that would make accessing abortion more difficult.

Rep. Matt Regier (R) - HD4
Montna Legislature

Montana lawmakers heard two more bills on Wednesday that were aimed at changing how the state regulates abortion.

Montana lawmakers have set the first rough outline for state health department spending at about a billion dollars less than the agency’s current budget. A party line vote Friday set the initial base spending for budget negotiations. 

Lawmakers talk after the Montana Legislature rules committee adjourned, December 08, 2020.
Shaylee Ragar / Montana Public Radio

Montana lawmakers clashed this week over how best to conduct the 2021 legislative session. One change going into effect could determine what bills get a hearing in the House. 

The House Rules Committee adopted a new rule to let committee heads, who are all Republican, dictate if a proposed bill gets a hearing.