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Montana Politics

Keep up with the latest Montana politics, elections and Legislature news. Get updates on your radio during Morning and Evening Edition, on the web or via podcast any time.

Montana Democratic Party Challenges New Election Laws

43 minutes ago

The Montana Democratic Party is challenging the constitutionality of new policies ending same-day voter registration and changing voter ID requirements. Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte signed them into law Monday.

Missoula County’s elections office and a local GOP-backed citizens group remain locked in a dispute regarding an alleged discrepancy in the number of ballots cast there during the 2020 election. The claims haven’t been substantiated in court, yet the allegations are being used in an argument to justify the need for enhanced election security in the state.

Elections Administrator Bradley Seaman shows off an early step to process absentee ballot envelopes in Missoula County’s elections center, before walking through the office’s subsequent procedures to verify a resident’s vote.

Montana lawmakers Tuesday voted down a proposal that would regulate health care for transgender youth in the state. Another bill aimed at transgender youth is still alive.

The Montana House of Representatives sent a bill to Gov. Greg Gianforte’s desk Wednesday that would allow state-inspected Montana meat to be sold across state lines.

Sen. Greg Hertz (R) - SD6 chaired the Select Committee On Judicial Transparency and Accountability session Monday April 19, 2021.
Montana Public Affairs Network

A growing dispute between Montana’s legislative and judicial branches came to a head Monday during a pair of special committee hearings. Republican lawmakers have alleged bias by state Supreme Court justices over pending legislation — and in an unexpected move, justices addressed those concerns directly.

Lawmakers Navigate Separation Of Powers Challenges

Apr 19, 2021
Majority Leader Sue Vinton speaks during a Special Joint Select Committee on Judicial Transparency and Accountability, April 19, 2021.
Montana Legislature

HELENA — Gov. Greg Gianforte and the Legislature are locked in a legal battle over a new law giving the governor sweeping powers to appoint judges. 

Rep. Sharon Greef, Governor Greg Gianforte, and Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen are pictured at the HB 176 bill signing, April 19, 2021.
Gov. Gianforte's office

Gov. Greg Gianforte signed several bills into law this week, including policies to end same-day voting registration and change voter ID requirements; limit local public health powers; expand telehealth access; give businesses tax breaks for vocational training; allow insurance companies to consider gender when setting rates; address the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous people; and update state laws after federal recognition of the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians.

The Session Week 16: Separation Of Powers And The Future Of Colstrip

Apr 19, 2021

As of mid-day Friday, 1,297 bills have been introduced and at least 197 have been signed into law. This week we’re watching a mounting dispute over separation of powers between the Legislature and the Montana Supreme Court. We’re also watching debate on a bill that would incentivize the state’s largest utility to buy more of the Colstrip coal-fired power plant.

'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.

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