MTPR

Tom Jacobson

Montana Capitol in Helena.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

Controversial policy was decided in the waning hours of the 2019 Montana legislative session Thursday. The final acts of the Legislature included funding for a new state history museum, and raising fees on brokers and investment advisors.

Bills Aimed At Montana’s Hemp Industry Move Forward

Feb 19, 2019
Hemp plant.
iStock

HELENA -- The 2018 Federal Farm Bill legalized industrial hemp production and Montana lawmakers are considering the best ways to integrate it into the state’s agriculture economy.

Sen. Tom Jacobson, D-Great Falls, is sponsoring two hemp-related bills. Senate Bill 176 would allow the Montana Department of Agriculture to create a hemp certification program plan. Senate Bill 177 would eliminate the criminal background check requirement to grow hemp. The Montana Senate passed both bills this week and they now head to the House of Representatives.

'Capitol Talk:' Socialism, A Sales Tax, And A Swipe At Gianforte

Feb 8, 2019

Sen. Daines equates Democrats to Venezuelan socialists; Lawmakers hear a massive sales tax bill; And House Democrats take a not-so-subtle dig at Montana's U.S. Rep.

Sally Mauk, Rob Saldin and Holly Michels discuss these stories and more, right now on "Capitol Talk."

Hemp plant.
iStock

The 2018 Farm Bill signed by President Trump this week ushers in a new era for American agriculture; one in which industrial hemp is legal to grow again after a decades-long hiatus. And Montana farmers are taking notice.

Montana Lawmakers Reject New Constitutional Protections For Hunting, Fishing And Trapping

Apr 12, 2017
Man fishing in the Yellowstone River.
Flickr user: Mirrur Image (CC-BY-NC)

The Montana House of Representatives killed a bill today that would have asked voters to make hunting, fishing and trapping a Constitutional right. Senate Bill 236 passed the Senate on a 30-to-20 vote back in March.

State budgets.
(PD)

Lawmakers voted Thursday to bank on a projection that state revenue will increase substantially in the next 3 years to help balance the state budget. Democrats called that reckless.

Montana Tobacco Tax Increase Bill Likely Dead

Apr 6, 2017
Rep. Kerry White (R) HD64
Montana Legislature

Republican lawmakers are taking steps to kill a proposed increase in Montana's tobacco tax.

The tax increase would raise tens of millions of dollars a year that would go, in part, to increase the wages of caregivers for elderly and disabled Medicaid patients.

People browsing at a medical marijuana dispensary.
Stock Photo Courtesy Drug Policy Alliance

Montana lawmakers are considering a 6 percent sales tax on medical marijuana. Opponents told the House Taxation Committee that the tax would be a hardship on many of the nearly 12,000 registered medical marijuana users in Montana.

Bill Would Make Social Media Posts Shaming Seniors A felony

Mar 10, 2017
Montana Capitol in Helena.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

HELENA -- Retirement facility employees in Montana could hypothetically record videos and photos of patients and post them to social media sites under current state law.

House Bill 244 would change that, making it a felony to record seniors, or people with developmental disabilities, in uncompromising situations in any setting.

Bill Aims To Address Checkerboard Lands, Make Public Lands Accessible

Feb 20, 2017
A map showing checkerboard land ownership near August, MT.
Montana State Library

Hard to access public lands have become a hot topic lawmakers are trying to solve at the Montana legislature. Senate Bill 262 would allow complaints of closed roads to go through county commissioners to determine whether or not certain roads are being closed unlawfully. The bill aims to address the issue of checkerboard lands, which wedge public lands between private lands making them hard to get to.

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