MTPR

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.

Capitol Talk: MTPR's weekly legislative analysis program featuring Sally Mauk, Holly Michaels and Rob Saldin begins the first week of the legislative session.

Lawmakers, reporters and other Montana Legislature accounts on twitter: Montana Legislature twitter list.

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Sen. Brown: Reduce Road Salt

Feb 23, 2015
MT Department of Transportation

On Tuesday, Montana lawmakers will hear a bill that would reduce the amount of salty road de-icers used on streets and roads. 

A 2010 United States Geological Survey  report found that winter runoff can push significant amounts of the de-icer into streams, increasing their toxicity for fish and other aquatic life.

Republican Senator Dee Brown of Hungry Horse is carrying Senate Bill 369 and says it’s necessary to keep Montana water clear.

Tie Vote On Death Penalty Bill

Feb 23, 2015
Photosforclass.com

The Montana House Monday came within one vote of approving a bill to abolish the death penalty.

Helena Democrat Jenny Eck read a letter signed by 55 relatives of murder victims, urging the state to do away with capital punishment

“We know that elected officials who promote the death penalty often do so with the best intentions of helping family members like us," Eck read. "We are writing to say that there are better ways to help us. The death penalty is a broken and costly system. Montana doesn’t need it and victims’ families like ours don’t want it."

Should Lawmakers Meet Every Year?

Feb 23, 2015
Montana Legislature

A Bozeman lawmaker wants to make big changes to the way the Montana Legislature does its work.

Currently, Montana legislators have just seven weeks from the time they’re elected until the legislature starts.

For newcomers it means a steep learning curve. Democrat Kathleen Williams says lawmakers could do a better job if they met after the election, just long enough to break up into committees, so they could study the issues facing the state for a full year, before holding their regular session. She’s sponsoring a bill to do that.

Transparency For Tribal Finances On Monday's Legislative Agenda

Feb 20, 2015
Montana capitol, Helena.
William Marcus

Monday, Montana legislators will hear a bill to create a website so state tribal members can see the who, what, where and when of the money coming into the tribe.

Republican Representative Bruce Meyers of Box Elder says it’s important that Native American citizens get the same open government systems as other Montanans.

“We’re providing tribal members as Montana citizens transparency about budgets.”

Many question how much money goes to federal and state governments, worrying about corruption higher up in the chain.

The Montana Legislature took a step toward ratifying the state’s final outstanding water compact this morning, with a vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The compact involving the federal government and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes has drawn more heated debate than any issue except perhaps Medicaid expansion. 

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