The Billings Gazette - Politics

Republicans and Democrats unveil competing education funding bills

Dueling proposals to fund the state’s public K-12 schools hit the Montana Legislature last week, with Republicans saying their bill will quickly provide much-needed clarity to school districts around the state setting their budgets, while Democrats say they have a comprehensive package that goes beyond minimum requirements. Read more

Record number of Native American legislators in Montana are making their presence felt

A record number of Native American lawmakers are serving in Montana’s Legislature this session, and they’re pushing for bills covering issues from language preservation to missing persons reporting to the reauthorization of Medicaid expansion. Read more

As NorthWestern makes power plans, consumers demand renewable energy

Officials from Northwestern Energy, Montana's largest monopoly utility, say new sources of energy will have to be found in the future as consumer demand increases and parts of the Colstrip power plant start to shut down. Read more

Shutdown's effects extend beyond government workers — to craft breweries

The partial government shutdown has been affecting local craft brewers who can’t get labels approved for new beers, which are regulated by the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. Read more

Marchers rally at Montana Capitol in support of ending abortion

Carrying signs and cheering upcoming “personhood” legislation, more than 250 opponents of abortion rallied at the Montana Capitol on Friday before walking in unison for the annual March for Life. Read more

Bill to increase fines for animal cruelty dies in Wyoming Senate

Two of the nation’s largest animal rights organizations routinely rank Wyoming in the bottom five for animal protection laws — and it doesn’t appear that status will be changing anytime soon. Read more

Kathleen Williams raised record amount for a Democrat in a House race in Montana

Kathleen Williams raised a record amount of money in 2018 for a Montana Democrat running for U.S. House in a general election. Read more

Montana Legislature 2019: Catch up with this week's coverage

Things are off to a slow but steady start at the Montana Legislature, where lawmakers started hearing debate on bills that include doing away with the statute of limitations for sex crimes against children and pay raises for people who work with those who have developmental disabilities. Read more

Daines sides with Democrats supporting Russian sanctions

There aren’t many Republicans more conservative than Steve Daines, which is why it stuck out this week when the Montana senator sided with Democrats to oppose Trump Administration plans to lift sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin. Read more

Bidding on liquor licenses could permanently replace old lotto system

Montana would switch permanently to an auction system to award liquor licenses under a bill proposed Thursday. Read more

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