Arren Kimbel-Sannit

Arren Kimbel-Sannit

Arren Kimbel-Sannit is an Arizona-bred journalist who has covered politics, policy and power building at every level of government. Before getting his dose of northern exposure, Arren worked as a reporter in all manner of Arizona newsrooms, for the Dallas Morning News and for POLITICO in Washington, D.C. He has a special interest in how land-use decisions affect working-class people, which he displayed through reporting on the epidemic of pedestrian deaths in the U.S. for the Los Angeles Times and PBS Newshour. He's also covered housing, agriculture, the Trump presidency and more.

Recreational pot bill headed to governor’s desk

By: - April 27, 2021

After a whirlwind 24 hours that saw the fate of the bill change dramatically on more than one occasion, the Legislature has passed House Bill 701, landmark legislation that implements the recreational marijuana program that voters approved last year. The state House on Tuesday morning passed the bill as amended by the Senate on third […]

Montana to get second congressional district per Census count

By: - April 26, 2021

Montana on Monday made history — with the help of number crunchers and surveyors from the U.S. Census Bureau — becoming the first state to lose a congressional seat and then gain one back. The Census announced Monday that Montana would be one of six states to pick up at least one congressional seat — […]

Updated: Pot bill hits hangup in House, will face another vote

By: - April 26, 2021

A high-wire act to pass massive legislation implementing recreational marijuana in Montana before the expected end of the legislative session later this week has hit a snag: the state House voted down substantial amendments from the Senate to House Bill 701 that found a compromise on some of the cannabis industry’s key concerns, before passing […]

Here’s where the Legislature’s investigation into the judiciary sits as the session nears its end

By: - April 22, 2021

The 2021 Legislature may be winding down, with remaining priorities and obligations falling into place in what could be the penultimate week of the session, but at least one committee will be working past adjournment sine die. That’s the Select Committee on Judicial Accountability and Transparency. The panel, formed this month as part of the Legislature’s response […]

Flagship pot bill emerges from Senate committee

By: - April 21, 2021

They may have just missed 4/20, by which point they had hoped to see House Bill 701 hit the floor, but a committee of Senate lawmakers succeeded Wednesday evening in passing a heavily amended version of a bill to implement and tax recreational marijuana in Montana, one of the final priorities of a legislative session […]

Dems sue to stop changes to voter ID, Election Day registration

By: and - April 20, 2021

Just a day after Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte signed two laws that would change how and when voters register, attorneys for the Montana Democratic Party have sued to stop them, saying they unfairly disenfranchise young voters, the elderly, Native Americans and the disabled even though not a single case of voter fraud has been documented […]

Bill banning inclusionary zoning gets Gianforte signature

By: - April 20, 2021

The cities of Bozeman and Whitefish will have to stop enforcing inclusionary zoning ordinances meant to increase the supply of affordable housing after Gov. Greg Gianforte signed legislation this week outlawing the practice. The Republican governor signed House Bill 259, sponsored by Rep. Sue Vinton, R-Billings, on Monday. The bill prevents municipalities from requiring that […]

Seven judges, six lawmakers and SB140

By: - April 19, 2021

All seven members of the Montana Supreme Court appeared via Zoom before a legislative panel on Monday out of apparent respect for a legislative subpoena — a rare move that seemed a surprise given that the court had previously ordered to temporarily disregard the same subpoena under which they appeared — but put up a […]

Court enjoins lawmakers’ subpoenas, while Chief Justice issues a letter to legislators

By: and - April 16, 2021

The Montana State Supreme Court made a series of orders on Friday that temporarily suspended legislative subpoenas and allow the high court to slow the process on two different but related cases, which entangled all three branches of state government and stretch the limits of their respective constitutional power. In its order on Friday afternoon, […]

Legislature postpones Friday floor sessions after positive COVID-19 test

By: - April 15, 2021

The Legislature’s COVID-19 panel announced Thursday evening that floor sessions Friday would be postponed and committees would have the option to meet virtually after a lobbyist at the Capitol contracted the virus. “The Legislature’s contact tracer requires time to do her work, so legislative leadership has made the decision to postpone Friday’s floor sessions out […]

Special legislative committee on judiciary issues subpoenas to Montana Supreme Court

By: - April 15, 2021

Legislative Republicans have dug in their heels in a standoff with Montana’s Supreme Court, taking a rare step to subpoena all seven sitting justices and deepening a quagmire that’s ensnared the three equal branches of state government. The subpoenas were issued Thursday morning by a special select committee formed this week to investigate alleged judicial […]

Lawmakers to investigate judiciary while emails show hurried records search

By: and - April 14, 2021

On Wednesday, the Montana Legislature announced it was creating a special select committee to investigate the judicial branch, while emails between Department of Administration Acting Director Misty Ann Giles detail some of the behind-the-scenes efforts to obtain emails of Montana’s court administrator. The committee will examine potential legislation regarding judicial transparency, recusals and other court […]