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On Wednesday, pro-Trump extremists stormed the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C., breaking down doors and forcing their way into both the Senate and House chambers. MTPR’s Aaron Bolton spoke with Montana’s Democratic Sen. Jon Tester about what he calls an attempted coup.

Demonstrators gather outside the Montana Capitol January 6, 2021 in support of President Trump's debunked claims of fraud in the presidential election.
Shaylee Ragar / Montana Public Radio

Montana state political leaders issued statements condemning pro-Donald Trump extremists who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.

A screenshot from C-SPAN shows a pro-Trump mob outside the U.S. Capitol Jan. 6, 2021 at 2:47 p.m. Members of the U.S. House and Senate were meeting in a joint session to certify states' electoral votes from the 2020 presidential election.

The three members of Montana’s congressional delegation in Washington, D.C., along with their staff, are safe following a group of pro-Trump extremists storming the U.S Capitol as a mob.

Montana Capitol building.
Nick Mott / Montana Public Radio

Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte has put his support behind a proposal to raise state employee pay by 55 cents an hour in 2023.

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.

Montana House Minority Leader Kim Abbott speaks to the press on the Capitol steps January 5, 2021. She said Montana Democrats have had “good conversations” with Gov. Greg Gianforte and House and Senate Republicans regarding policy goals for the session.
Austin Amestoy / UM Legislative News Service

Montana Democrats released their top legislative priorities for the 2021 legislative session on Tuesday. House Minority Leader Kim Abbott and other Democatic leaders presented their caucuses’ goals for policymaking over the next 90 days, although that did not include specific bill drafts.

Gov. Greg Gianforte releases his plans for the state’s response to COVID-19 at a press conference January 5, 2021. He said he will rescind the statewide mask mandate, but only after certain criteria are met.
James Bradley / UM Legislative News Service

On his second day in office, Gov. Greg Gianforte pledged to lift Montana’s statewide mask mandate enacted by his predecessor to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Now local areas are preparing face-covering ordinances of their own.

At a press conference Tuesday, Gianforte said addressing COVID-19 was his top priority as governor, and that he would be issuing new guidance to help the state recover.

Republican Attorney General Tim Fox left office Monday after leading the Montana Department of Justice for two four-year terms. Fox spoke with MTPR’s Shaylee Ragar about the issues he prioritized, what challenges Montana still faces and what is next.

A Montana utility regulator has filed a more than $2 million claim against the Public Service Commission for negligence and harm he says was directed towards him.

Bozeman Commissioner Roger Koopman filed the notice with the Department of Administration on behalf of himself and his family, citing targeted, malicious behavior by the PSC and several of its elected officials and state employees.

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.