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Government

Top GOP legislator pitches modest property tax cut

Top GOP legislator pitches modest property tax cut

HELENA — A top Republican legislator pitched another tax-cut bill Tuesday, for a modest, across-the-board cut in state property taxes.

January 27, 2015 11:55 amLoading…
Lawmaker seeks to increase fine for seat belt violations

Lawmaker seeks to increase fine for seat belt violations

HELENA — Getting caught without a seat belt could cost Montana drivers five times the current fine under a bill proposed Tuesday.

January 27, 2015 10:46 amLoading…
Lawmaker wants to increase state funding for tribal colleges

Lawmaker wants to increase state funding for tribal colleges

HELENA — A Montana lawmaker proposed Monday that tribal colleges receive the same per-student funding that community colleges receive.

January 26, 2015 6:00 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…
Citing lack of support, McCulloch drops vote by mail bill

Citing lack of support, McCulloch drops vote by mail bill

HELENA — Because of the lack of support, Secretary of State Linda McCulloch is dropping her bill to require nearly all Montana elections to be conducted by mail.

January 26, 2015 4:44 pm Photos

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Gas tax, other items on the agenda for Legislature this week

HELENA — The Montana Legislature will begin its fourth week on Monday with a full slate of hearings on a variety of bills coming up.

January 25, 2015 6:00 amLoading…
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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Ryan Zinke said he viewed 'American Sniper' inspiration as commander, father

Ryan Zinke said he viewed 'American Sniper' inspiration as commander, father

U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke knew Chris Kyle, the subject of “American Sniper,” when Zinke was commander of special forces in the Fallujah area of Iraq in 2004.

January 24, 2015 9:00 pm Video Loading…
Taxing and spending: How much money is coming in and how will it be spent

Taxing and spending: How much money is coming in and how will it be spent

HELENA — Expect a debate at the Capitol over how much tax revenue the state can expect to collect this year and the next two fiscal years.

January 24, 2015 6:45 pm 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…
Plan would help small business pay for health insurance

Plan would help small business pay for health insurance

HELENA — Business owners, including a Republican state senator, turned out Friday to support a plan by Democratic state Auditor Monica Lindeen to extend and possibly expand a program helping more than 1,100 small businesses pay for employee health coverage.

January 23, 2015 3:38 pmLoading…
Bill giving governor more power over clemency for inmates advances easily

Bill giving governor more power over clemency for inmates advances easily

HELENA — A bill giving the governor power to overrule the Board of Pardons and Parole on clemency decisions — spurred in part by the case of convicted murderer Barry Beach — easily advanced to the House floor Friday.

January 23, 2015 11:06 am Related Loading…
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…
Lawmaker wants to raise gas tax by 5 cents a gallon

Lawmaker wants to raise gas tax by 5 cents a gallon

HELENA — A Missoula lawmaker has introduced a bill to raise the state’s tax on gasoline by a nickel a gallon, dividing the proceeds between local streets and roads and public transportation.

January 22, 2015 7:30 pmLoading…

Senate OKs bill on how top political cop is picked

HELENA — The Senate on Thursday endorsed a bill changing how the state commissioner of political practices is chosen and adding certain qualifications.

January 22, 2015 7:15 pmLoading…

Senate OKs bills to put electronics in privacy laws

HELENA — The state Senate approved two bills Thursday that would update peeping Tom and indecent exposure laws to prohibit committing those crimes through electronic means.

January 22, 2015 6:45 pmLoading…
Restricted driver’s license bill turned down

Restricted driver’s license bill turned down

HELENA — In an unusual move, the Senate on Thursday rejected a bill it had earlier endorsed to allow restricted-use driving permits to be issued to people who meet certain conditions after they have had their licenses revoked after drunken driving convictions.

January 22, 2015 3:49 pmLoading…
Ohio governor talks about Medicaid expansion, federal budget

Ohio governor talks about Medicaid expansion, federal budget

HELENA — Ohio Gov. John Kasich visited the Montana Legislature Wednesday to promote a federal balanced-budget amendment — but also got into why he supported expanding Medicaid in Ohio.

January 21, 2015 8:45 pmLoading…
GOP bill: Hire outside vendor to check for welfare fraud

GOP bill: Hire outside vendor to check for welfare fraud

HELENA — A Republican state senator from Billings Wednesday presented a key piece of GOP plans to reform Medicaid and public-assistance programs in Montana: A bill to hire an outside contractor to verify the eligibility of welfare applicants.

January 21, 2015 8:30 pmLoading…
Bill would end governor's power to appoint U.S. senators

Bill would end governor's power to appoint U.S. senators

HELENA — The Montana governor would lose the power to fill U.S. senator vacancies under legislation being considered by lawmakers for the third time.

January 21, 2015 4:33 pmLoading…
Restricted-use driver license bill advances

Restricted-use driver license bill advances

HELENA — The Montana State Senate, on a preliminary vote Wednesday, approved a bill to allow restricted-use driving permits to be issued to drivers who have had their licenses revoked after drunken-driving convictions.

January 21, 2015 4:24 pmLoading…
FACT CHECK: Obama claims credit for an incomplete recovery

FACT CHECK: Obama claims credit for an incomplete recovery

EDITOR'S NOTE — An occasional look at political claims that take shortcuts with the facts or don't tell the full story

January 20, 2015 9:30 pmLoading…
Montana’s congressional delegation reacts to Obama's speech

Montana’s congressional delegation reacts to Obama's speech

HELENA — Montana’s congressional delegation split along party lines Monday night with Democratic Sen. Jon Tester praising President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, while Republican Sen. Steve Daines and Rep. Ryan Zinke criticized the president.

January 20, 2015 7:32 pm Photos

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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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