Nicholas Schwaderer

Left: Daniel Zolnikov (R) HD 45, right: Nicholas Schwaderer (R) HD 14
Montana Legislature

Two Montana Republican state house members today endorsed the Libertarian Party’s candidate for President. Daniel Zolnikov from Billings and Nick Schwaderer from Superior say they’re endorsing Gary Johnson, the former governor of New Mexico, for president.

A Montana lawmaker is praising President Obama’s decision to restrict the kinds of military surplus equipment that go to local police departments.

Vaccine stock photo.

The Montana House has narrowly approved an updated list of mandatory vaccinations for Montana school students; even though the Senate rejected the House’s attempt to add an exemption for "personal beliefs."

Billings Representative Kathy Kelker, a Democrat, said states that allow children to go unvaccinated because of their parents’ "personal beliefs" have seen tragic results.

"The states who have had it, particularly California, are the ones where we now see outbreaks of epidemics of childhood diseases, the most recent being measles."

At least six Montana police departments, including Billings, Bozeman, and Missoula, are using armored vehicles similar to those used by the military in Iraq and Afghanistan. Most of them are military surplus. 

Now the legislature is considering a bill that would ban local police from acquiring surplus “MRAPS” or “BEARCATS”, which have been criticized as a symptom of the militarization of police forces across the country. 

Republican Nick Schwaderer from Superior wrote the original bill to stop police from using military surplus combat gear.

Montana is one of the last states where it’s legal to send a text message while driving, but that could change if the legislature approves a bill debated Tuesday in the state House.