Montana Public Radio

Randy Brodehl

Montana absentee ballot for the 2017 special congressional election.
Eric Whitney / Montana Public Radio

As of Friday, 45 of Montana’s 56 counties have filed plans to hold all-mail elections this November after Gov. Steve Bullock issued a directive in August allowing counties to do so. However, some people are pushing back against the measure and Republican officials have filed a lawsuit trying to stop it.

Map showing the proposed Lost Trail Conservation Area
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Federal officials are proposing 100,000 acres of conservation easements in Northwest Montana to maintain public access on recently sold private timber lands.

Churchgoers walk out of the Hilton Garden Inn in Kalispell Sunday, April 12, where Liberty Fellowship held its Easter service in violation of Gov. Steve Bullock’s stay-at-home directive.
Aaron Bolton / Montana Public Radio

A nondenominational Christian congregation in the Flathead Valley is holding in-person services that public health officials say violate Gov. Steve Bullock’s stay-at-home order during the coronavirus pandemic.

Some worry that a viral video made by a Flathead county board of health member addressing churchgoers is helping sow misinformation and distrust in government social distancing directives.

Glacier National Park's Logan Pass Visitor Center on a busy summer day.
Tom Westbrook (CC-BY-NC-ND-2.0)

Flathead County is canceling its decade old shuttle service in Glacier National Park. County officials say the Park isn’t keeping up its end of the deal as growing crowds drive up costs. 

The "Capitol Talk" crew discusses what did and didn't make it through the legislative session, with a focus on infrastructure and the state budget. On the House race, they discuss whether Quist's nudist colony gigs will impact the race, and break down the latest attack ad from the Congressional Leadership Fund. They also look at the recent Emerson poll showing Gianforte with a double digit lead. Listen now on this episode of "Capitol Talk."

Reynermedia.com (CC-BY-2.0)

At the end of a legislative session defined by the state having less money than initially projected, lawmakers Wednesday negotiated a new budgeting system designed to protect the state against future revenue shortfalls. 

With state revenues down from slumping markets for oil, gas, coal and agricultural products, lawmakers spent most this session arguing over spending priorities in the state budget.

Montana Republican Party
Montana Republican Party

The state legislative session is now more than third of the way finished. At a Republican Party gathering in Kalispell Friday, about 30 party members said they're generally happy with how it's going, as Republicans hold majorities in both the state House and Senate.

The Glacier Country Pachyderm Club spoke with five Flathead Valley Republican legislators on Skype for almost an hour Friday to hear updates on their bills.

Gavel.
(PD)

A bipartisan group of lawmakers agreed today to fund new judges for Montana’s burdened court system. But, as lawmakers focus on cutting spending statewide, the future of other services in courts are uncertain.

Pistol stock photo.
(PD)

Proposals to loosen gun restrictions in Montana are being revived by Republican lawmakers who are undeterred that similar bills were shot down in past legislative sessions.

Senate Endorses Study Of Public Defender's Office

Apr 14, 2015
Montana Capitol in Helena.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

Today at the Montana Legislature, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to pass a bill that would create a two-year study on the Office of the State Public Defender. This year, legislators discussed, and argued about what to do with this office, which is meant to provide lawyers for those who can’t afford their own in criminal cases.

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