Montana Public Radio

Steve Bullock

Bison in Yellowstone National Park.
Josh Burnham

Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte said Tuesday he is ending a bison management plan that would have allowed the wide-ranging animals to be restored in more areas of the state.

'Capitol Talk' is MTPR's weekly legislative analysis program.
Montana Public Radio

COVID leads to the cancellation of floor sessions at the Legislature as the Republican leaders are in a subpoena standoff with the state Supreme Court. All this as a bill to ban abortion dies in the Senate, the governor tries to prohibit "vaccine passports" and a Montanan may become the next head of the Bureau of Land Management.

Listen now on Capitol Talk with Sally Mauk, Rob Saldin and Holly Michels.

The Session Week 13: Judges, Elections And Recreational Marijuana

Mar 29, 2021

As of mid-day Friday, 1,237 bills had been introduced and at least 74 had been signed into law. We’re hitting the time of the session when more are on the way. This week we’re watching the legal marijuana bill take shape, lawmakers consider the former governor’s district court judge nominees, and proposals to change elections in the state.

Health care worker holding a clipboard.
iStock

The Montana House of Representatives advanced a bill Wednesday that outlines how patients could pay for medical care directly without health insurance.

The Session Week 10: We’re Halfway There

Mar 8, 2021

As of mid-day Thursday 1,121 had been introduced and Gov. Greg Gianforte had signed 38 bills into law.

This week we’re breaking down what made it across the transmittal deadline, what failed and where the session is going next.

Former Montana Gov. Steve Bullock is taking on a new role outside of public service.

Purdue Pharma announced this week that Bullock has been appointed to oversee the company’s compliance with its voluntary injunction. The injunction is related to the company’s 2019 commitment to refrain from promoting opioids. 

Capitol Talk: Antifa; 'Religious Freedom', And Limits On Local Control

Feb 19, 2021

Bills heard this week at the Capitol seek to: limit the ability of local governments and health departments to require restrictions during a public health emergency; limit services to LGBTQ people in the name of religious freedom; make Montana a right-to-work state; declare antifa a domestic terrorist organization — even though there isn't such an organization.

And after years of criticizing dark money groups, former Gov. Steve Bullock raises eyebrows by taking a position with a PAC tied to dark money.

Listen now on Capitol Talk with Sally Mauk, Holly Michels and Rob Saldin.

Marilyn Bartlett might be the closest thing health policy has to a folk hero. A certified public accountant who barely tops five feet, Bartlett bears zero resemblance to Paul Bunyan. But she did take an ax to Montana’s hospital prices in 2016, stopping the state’s employee health plan from bleeding money.

“Marilyn is not a physically imposing person,” said Montana Board of Investments Executive Director Dan Villa, who worked closely with Bartlett in state government. “She is a blend of your favorite aunt, an accounting savant and a little bit of July Fourth fireworks.”

On Friday, Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte repealed an executive order put in place by his Democratic predecessor that aimed to combat so-called "dark money" in political elections.

He announced his repeal of former Gov. Steve Bullock's executive order on campaign finance disclosure in a Friday press release that also made good on Gianforte's promise to repeal former Bullock’s statewide mask mandate.

Concept image of cables and connections for internet data transfer
iStock

The Montana Senate gave an initial endorsement this week to a bill meant to encourage the spread of high-speed internet across the state. The legislation would introduce tax exemptions for businesses that lay the cable needed for high-speed connections.

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