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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.

20 hours agoLoading…
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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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…

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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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…
Johnson Column: Bullock public works plan draws GOP questions

Johnson Column: Bullock public works plan draws GOP questions

HELENA — Financial and political questions surfaced last week after Gov. Steve Bullock’s nearly $400 million infrastructure bill had its first hearing.

January 18, 2015 3:00 pmLoading…
Billings legislator working on bill to ban cellphone use in vehicles across Montana

Billings legislator working on bill to ban cellphone use in vehicles across Montana

BOZEMAN — A bill being drafted by a Billings legislator would ban cellphone use while driving in Montana.

January 18, 2015 11:50 amLoading…
State senator leads debate on federal lands in Montana

State senator leads debate on federal lands in Montana

BOZEMAN — The forester surveyed his handiwork from a timbered rise, a can of paint still clutched in his hand. The lodgepole pines had been his canvas and, like a minimalist painter, he had left flashes of orange on only those trees that met his discerning eye.

January 18, 2015 11:50 am Photos

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David Howard Facebook posts

David Howard Facebook posts

State Sen. David Howard, R-Park City, shared these posts to Facebook. He has since taken them down.

January 18, 2015 6:00 am Photos

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Lawmakers plan marijuana bills that run the gamut

Lawmakers plan marijuana bills that run the gamut

HELENA — Marijuana once again will be an issue at the Legislature, with a number of bills anticipated, from possibly decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of pot to banning medical marijuana.

January 18, 2015 6:00 am Related Loading…
What's coming up in the Legislature: Medicaid, welfare, taxes, utilities, parole board

What's coming up in the Legislature: Medicaid, welfare, taxes, utilities, parole board

HELENA — The 2015 Legislature kicks into full gear this week, with a packed calendar of hearings and events. Issues topping the agenda include welfare, the state parole board, taxes and utilities.

January 18, 2015 12:15 am Related Loading…
Democratic senator: To solve mental health, expand Medicaid

Democratic senator: To solve mental health, expand Medicaid

HELENA — If the Legislature really wants to solve Montana’s mental health care crisis, a simple solution exists, a Democratic state senator said Thursday: expand Medicaid.

January 15, 2015 5:21 pmLoading…
Groups urge legislators to fund local mental health services

Groups urge legislators to fund local mental health services

HELENA — Annette Russ told a legislative budget panel Thursday that when her son was released from Montana State Prison recently, he had a 10-day furlough and no medication for his schizophrenia — and quickly had a “psychotic episode.”

January 15, 2015 4:30 pm Photos

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Montana Republicans appeal order in closed primaries lawsuit

Montana Republicans appeal order in closed primaries lawsuit

HELENA — Republicans who are suing the state to end open primary elections are appealing a district judge's order denying their request to close elections while the case is being decided.

January 15, 2015 1:28 pmLoading…

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