Montana Public Radio

Montana Heritage Center

"Herd Bull," a bronze bison skull sculpture by artist Benji Daniels on display in front of the Montana Historical Society in Helena, MT.
Eric Whitney / Montana Public Radio

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The state has decided to remodel the current Montana Historical Society building and add a connected building to create the new Montana Heritage Center.

Screen capture, Montana Heritage Center project website, August 20, 2019.
The Montana Heritage Center / Montana Department of Administration

Two committees have been appointed for the building of a new Montana Heritage Center.

Department of Administration Director John Lewis appointed 12 Montanans for their backgrounds, experience and affiliations with Helena to analyze the best location and design for the new center. 

"Herd Bull," a bronze bison skull sculpture by artist Benji Daniels on display in front of the Montana Historical Society in Helena, MT.
Eric Whitney / Montana Public Radio


A proposal to fund a new Montana history museum was defeated Thursday in the state Legislature.

The so-called Montana Museums Act was tabled by the House Taxation Committee on a tie vote, presenting the latest loss in a more than decade-long effort by the state historical society.

Montana Capitol.
Nick Mott / Montana Public Radio

UPDATE: House Appropriations voted 17 to five to pass the bill out of committee following its first hearing. 

Gov. Steve Bullock says a Republican-sponsored infrastructure bill could break through what he calls a “log jam” that’s prevented other major public works proposals from passing in the state Legislature.

The so-called State and Local Infrastructure Act got its first hearing in House Appropriations, Wednesday.

Montana Capitol in Helena.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

A new proposal from House Republicans is calling for a scaled down version of Gov. Steve Bullock’s plan for the state to borrow money for public works projects.

Bullock’s infrastructure plan released early in the session called for $160 million in state bonding.

That money would fund $44 million in local assistance grants. It would also and pay for additional water and wastewater grants through the treasure state endowment program, funded through coal severance tax.

Senate Majority Leader Fred Thomas (R) - Stevensville
Mike Albans / Montana Public Radio

In first weeks of the legislative session Gov. Steve Bullock and the Republican Majority are trading barbs over how the state should pay for big public projects, including university system improvements and maintenance in towns and counties.

On Wednesday GOP leaders revealed plans for a new system for how Montana borrows money for public works projects.

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.