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Montana Legislature

U.S. Rep. Zinke: It's time to take a stand on public lands

U.S. Rep. Zinke: It's time to take a stand on public lands

HELENA — U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke told state lawmakers that while Montana's public lands are sacred, federal mismanagement is such that it's time to take a stand.

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Montana lawmakers consider deleting law banning gay marriage

Montana lawmakers consider deleting law banning gay marriage

HELENA — On the heels of a district judge's ruling against the law, legislators considered on Friday whether to strike a voter-enacted ban on gay marriage from the Montana Constitution.

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Senate panel tables bill adding gay protections to law

Senate panel tables bill adding gay protections to law

HELENA — All in one day, Montana lawmakers heard testimony, voted against and then tabled a bill that would provide protections for gay, lesbian, transgender and other people in the state.

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Gazette opinion: Landowners deserve protection before drilling starts

Most Montanans support responsible energy development, valuing clean air, water and land as well as the oil and gas that powers our travel and heats our homes. Where we often disagree is on the definition of “development done right.”

January 30, 2015 6:00 amLoading…
House Republicans splitting Bullock's infrastructure bill

House Republicans splitting Bullock's infrastructure bill

HELENA — House Republicans said Thursday they are splitting Gov. Steve Bullock’s single infrastructure bill into at least seven separate bills and would eliminate most of the governor’s proposed use of bonding to finance projects.

January 29, 2015 2:30 pmLoading…
More GOP income tax bills tossed into the mix

More GOP income tax bills tossed into the mix

HELENA — Republican lawmakers added two more bills to their tax-cutting mix Thursday: One that chops state income tax rates and another that overhauls and simplifies the income tax, with fewer brackets and lower rates.

January 29, 2015 11:15 am Photos

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'Anti-evolution' bill would protect HS teachers who teach creationism

'Anti-evolution' bill would protect HS teachers who teach creationism

A Billings legislator has reintroduced a bill that would encourage high school teachers to present evolutionary biology as disputed theory rather than sound science and protect those who teach viewpoints like creationism in the classroom.

January 29, 2015 6:00 amLoading…
House endorses bill giving governor more power over clemency for convicts

House endorses bill giving governor more power over clemency for convicts

HELENA — The Montana House on Wednesday endorsed a bill giving the governor power to overrule the Board of Pardons and Parole on clemency decisions for felons — a measure spurred in part by the case of convicted murderer Barry Beach.

January 28, 2015 2:22 pm Photos

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Committee gets shot at gun bills

Committee gets shot at gun bills

The Judiciary Committee took aim at a series of firearm bills during first readings in the Montana Legislature on Tuesday, including what seems to be an almost semi-annual submission dealing with gun suppressors.

January 27, 2015 2:18 pm Photos

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Bill requiring legislative approval to expand Affordable Care Act prompts health care debate

Bill requiring legislative approval to expand Affordable Care Act prompts health care debate

HELENA — A Republican’s proposal to block any expansion of the Affordable Care Act in Montana without legislative approval prompted a miniature debate on health care reform Monday, as Democrats attacked the measure for blocking health care solutions.

January 26, 2015 5:29 pmLoading…
Legitimate questions and politics collide with welfare whistleblowers

Legitimate questions and politics collide with welfare whistleblowers

HELENA — In an unusual turn at the Legislature last week, three “whistleblower” state workers showed up in Helena to allege serious problems with the state’s processes to verify and approve welfare benefits.

January 25, 2015 6:00 am Photos

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House committee advances income tax cut bills

HELENA — The House Taxation Committee on Friday endorsed two Republican bills opposed by the Bullock administration that would provide millions of dollars of one-time and permanent state income tax cuts.

January 23, 2015 6:15 pmLoading…
Microbrewers, Tavern Association compromise on brewery, license bill

Microbrewers, Tavern Association compromise on brewery, license bill

HELENA — After battling during the 2013 Legislature, the Montana Brewers Association and Montana Tavern Association have agreed on a compromise bill that would allow microbreweries to own an on-premise sales license like bar owners.

January 23, 2015 9:55 amLoading…
Gazette opinion: Montana Republicans' new war on poverty

Gazette opinion: Montana Republicans' new war on poverty

President Lyndon Johnson declared war on poverty. 

January 23, 2015 12:00 amLoading…

Guest opinion: Boosting Montana's high school graduation rate

We have reached a milestone in Montana’s efforts to improve the graduation rate. From 2009 to 2014, Montana’s graduation rate has increased from 80.7 percent to 85.4 percent. This is the highest the graduation rate has been in Montana since the OPI began calculating it in 2000.

January 21, 2015 12:00 amLoading…

Bill advances to publish state phonebooks

HELENA — The Senate on Tuesday gave preliminary approval to a bill to require state government to again publish a phone directory every two years listing all state employees, their phone numbers and email addresses.

January 20, 2015 6:45 pmLoading…
House Republicans, governor's revenue director disagree on tax cuts

House Republicans, governor's revenue director disagree on tax cuts

HELENA — Hearings on three bills by Republicans to cut taxes prompted discussions Tuesday on whether the money should be returned, how it should be distributed and if it would stimulate the economy.

January 20, 2015 5:31 pm Photos

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Bill would include trapping in Montana Constitution

Bill would include trapping in Montana Constitution

Enshrining trapping in the Montana Constitution by changing only a couple words drew equal measures of support and opposition during a House Fish, Wildlife and Parks hearing on Tuesday in Helena.

January 20, 2015 5:03 pm Photos

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Guest opinion: Bonding is how Montana paid for today's infrastructure

As many as 2,000 temporary high-paying, blue-collar jobs will be created in Montana if the U S government approves the much publicized Keystone XL pipeline. More than twice as many similar private sector construction jobs, however, will result from state government approval of the “Build Mon…

January 20, 2015 12:00 amLoading…
Bills to expand net-metered, renewable-power systems

Bills to expand net-metered, renewable-power systems

HELENA — For firms installing solar-power systems on homes and businesses in Montana, the market is limited — but a coalition of odd political bedfellows at the 2015 Legislature wants to expand it.

January 19, 2015 12:00 amLoading…

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