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The Session Week 18: What Happened During Montana’s 2021 Legislative Session?

May 3, 2021

The 67th session of the Montana Legislature adjourned sine die Thursday, April 29. During lawmakers’ 80 days of work, 1,313 bills were introduced and as of mid-day Friday at least 302 had been signed into law.

James Bradley / UM Legislative News

Greg Gianforte gave his first State of the State address Thursday night before the 67th Montana Legislature. Gianforte continued to outline his campaign promises to cut taxes, reduce regulations and move the state forward amid the pandemic and on policy blocked under previous Democratic governors.

Rep. Lola Sheldon-Galloway (R) HD-22.
Montana Legislature

The Montana Republican Party is distancing itself from a statement signed by more than a dozen Republican lawmakers condemning the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes water compact. 


A 2020 Montana primary election absentee ballot
Nicky Ouellet / Yellowstone Public Radio

Attorneys for President Donald Trump’s campaign and the national and state GOP argued in federal court Tuesday against Montana Gov. Steve Bullock’s directive allowing for all-mail ballot voting this November. They made their case in U.S. District Court in Missoula for why they believe the directive should be blocked. The governor’s legal counsel dismissed their claims and argued that the directive needs to stay in place.

Montana Public Radio’s Shaylee Ragar shared her reporting on the case with MTPR's Corin Cates-Carney.

U.S. Supreme Court
PD

The U.S. Supreme Court denied on Tuesday the Montana Secretary of State’s attempt to restore the names of Green Party candidates to the November ballot.

State and federal courts ruled on Aug. 19 that the Green Party will remain off the November election ballot in Montana.

In a five to two decision, the Montana Supreme Court rejected Secretary of State Corey Stapleton’s appeal of an early August state district court order.

Lewis and Clark County District Court Judge James Reynolds ruled Stapleton erred in not accepting requests to withdraw more than 560 signatures from a petition to qualify the Green Party for the November ballot. Reynolds said the party wouldn’t have made it onto the ballot without those signatures

Raph Graybill is the 2020 Democratic Candidate for Attorney General
Courtesy

The Montana Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected an effort by the state Republican Party to remove Democratic attorney general candidate Raph Graybill from the November ballot, saying the petition filed on Aug. 3 didn't rise to the level of urgency needed for the issue to bypass state courts.

Montana Green Party
Montana Green Party

A judge ordered Green Party of Montana candidates removed from the November ballot, after finding the secretary of state improperly rejected requests by voters to have their signatures removed from petitions that qualified the minor party for the races.

Raph Graybill is the 2020 Democratic Candidate for Attorney General
Courtesy

The Montana Republican Party is reviving claims aimed at disqualifying the Democratic attorney general candidate from the November ballot.

The GOP filed a petition with the Montana Supreme Court Monday, alleging Democrat Raph Graybill is ineligible to run for the office. The party claims Graybill has not practiced law long enough to meet the position’s requirements.

Mike Cooney is the 2020 Democratic candidate for governor.
Courtesy

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney has been fined the maximum of $1,000 for violating state ethics laws by participating in a campaign-related video conference call from his state office this spring, the commissioner of political practices said Wednesday.

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