MTPR

Montana Supreme Court

The Montana Supreme Court has selected Sheila Stearns to lead Montana Redistricting Commission.
Courtesy the University of Montana

The Montana Supreme Court Tuesday named former state Commissioner of Higher Education Sheila Stearns to lead the committee in charge of re-drawing the boundaries of Montana’s legislative districts.

Stearns was picked by the state high court after the two Democrats and two Republicans on the Montana 2020 Redistricting Commission deadlocked on who should be their fifth and final member.

Montana Capitol dome, Helena.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A bill to change Montana's child sexual abuse laws, including lifting the statute of limitations for prosecuting such crimes, was signed Tuesday by Gov. Steve Bullock.

The bill, sponsored by Democratic Rep. Shane Morigeau, also extends from 21 to 27 the age deadline by which a victim of child sexual assault has to file a lawsuit against their abuser.

A divided Montana Supreme Court has upheld a ruling that allows advanced practice registered nurses to provide abortions while they challenge a state law that says only physicians and physician assistants can perform the procedure.

Bill Would Give Landlords Option To Send Tenants To Collections

Feb 7, 2019
Sen. Roger Webb, R-Billings. File photo.
Montana Legislature

HELENA — Landlords would be able to send their tenants to a collections agency for unpaid rent and other charges without a court ruling under a bill introduced to the Legislature.

Sen. Roger Webb, R-Billings, is sponsoring Senate Bill 184, which amends the Residential Landlord Tenant Act. The changes would also allow landlords to charge their tenants fees if they break their lease agreement.

Bill Would Criminalize Doctor-Assisted Death

Jan 29, 2019
Montana Capitol building.
Nick Mott / MTPR

HELENA -- Montana lawmakers are considering a bill that would invalidate consent as a legal defense for doctor-assisted deaths, meaning doctors could be charged with homicide if they help a terminally-ill person die.

Gavel.
(PD)

When the roughly 10 percent of adult Montanans with a substance-use disorder commit a crime, the state lacks enough drug courts to help them stay out of incarceration and navigate treatment. That’s according to a new report on Montana treatment courts released Thursday.

Most, about 90 percent, of those Montanas with a substance-use disorder aren’t receiving treatment for their illness.

The town of Libby.
courtesy

Montana’s Supreme Court has appointed six more judges to the state’s year-old asbestos claims court.

It’s been nearly 20 years since the Libby asbestos disaster hit national news, but many Montanans affected by it are still fighting for reparations in the courts, with no end in sight.

Gavel.
(PD)

The Montana Supreme Court Wednesday struck down a 2015 state law allowing tax credits for donations to private religious schools.

The court’s 5-2 ruling voids the dollar-for-dollar tax credit, up to $150, which passed, largely along party lines, out of the 2015 Montana Legislature.

Judge: Missoula Can Require Checks On Private Gun Sales

Oct 11, 2018
Montana Attorney General Tim Fox.
Eric Whitney

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A Montana judge says the city of Missoula has the right to impose background checks on private gun sales within the city.

District Judge Robert Deschamps' ruling Thursday comes two years after the city council passed a first-in-the-state ordinance requiring background checks for gun purchases from private, unlicensed sellers.

Nicky Ouellet

If you lived in the Flathead Valley and wanted or needed to abort a pregnancy in the past four years, the closest clinic was more than 100 miles away in Missoula, Great Falls, Helena or Billings.

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