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.

Thousands of Montanans will see increased WIC benefits for produce

By: - May 20, 2021

A panel of lawmakers and state officials on Thursday held an “emergency” meeting to authorize a temporary expansion of federal benefits to help low-income women and their families purchase additional fruit and vegetables, just in time for a June deadline that had slipped beyond the notice of the Legislature as it works to spend a […]

Gianforte names COVID-19 aid steering groups as lawmakers parse through new federal guidance

By: - May 19, 2021

A series of commissions formed to direct how Montana spends billions in federal COVID-19 aid dollars as part of the American Rescue Plan Act are beginning to kick into gear. Gov. Greg Gianforte announced appointments to the four commissions on Wednesday. Each focuses on a different subsection of ARPA: infrastructure, communications and broadband, economic transformation […]

Gianforte signs HB701, beginning new chapter for marijuana legalization in Montana

By: - May 18, 2021

Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte on Tuesday signed House Bill 701, landmark legislation that implements and regulates the recreational marijuana program that voters approved in a ballot initiative last year and funds a substance abuse prevention program that the new governor has championed since his first days in office. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Mike Hopkins, […]

Gianforte signs Colstrip fuel mix bill vetoed under Bullock

By: - May 18, 2021

Gov. Greg Gianforte last week signed House Bill 648, legislation quietly amended in the latter days of the 2021 legislative session to allow power plant operators at Colstrip to buy coal from a new source with limited environmental oversight. Environmental groups, Westmoreland Mining, which operates the Rosebud mine that currently supplies Colstrip, and the union […]

Supreme Court rejects motion to disqualify all justices ruling on subpoena for judicial documents

By: - May 12, 2021

The state Supreme Court Wednesday rejected a motion from the Legislature for a blanket disqualification of all Justices sitting on a case over the scope and authority of lawmakers’ subpoena power, with Justice Laurie McKinnon writing for the court that the Legislature’s argument — that the judges can’t fairly serve on a proceeding involving a […]

Gianforte signs $275 million broadband bill

By: - May 11, 2021

Gov. Greg Gianforte signed an ambitious, federally funded broadband expansion package Tuesday, enacting a $275 million investment with pledges to close Montana’s digital divide and shake its slump as one of the least connected states in the country. The bill, SB297, leverages COVID-19 aid dollars available from the federal American Rescue Plan Act to improve […]

Rosebud mine owner, union ask for veto on Colstrip fuel source bill

By: - May 10, 2021

The mining company that supplies the Colstrip power plant with coal is requesting that Gov. Greg Gianforte veto legislation that would exempt the plant operator from compliance with certain state environmental regulations if it seeks to alter fuel sources used at the plant, meaning that Colstrip would circumvent environmental and economic impact reviews, among other […]

Plaintiffs in SB140 suit will seek to stop Cascade County judicial appointment

By: - May 10, 2021

Attorneys for former Republican Secretary of State Bob Brown and other plaintiffs in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a bill signed this session overhauling the process for judicial nominations sent a letter to the state Attorney General, Gov. Greg Gianforte and their counsel in early May requesting that the governor refrain from starting the […]

New law nullifies mask mandates

By: - May 7, 2021

Gov. Greg Gianforte has signed legislation effectively invalidating local mask mandates and other virus-related public health measures that counties and cities have adopted in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Almost immediately, Lewis and Clark County announced that it would no longer enforce its mask mandate. County health officer Drenda Niemann said in a press […]

Another bill reshaping judiciary faces lawsuit

By: - May 6, 2021

Another in a series of GOP-backed bills signed this session that would reshape Montana’s judicial branch is now subject to a legal challenge. Plaintiffs including longtime Butte activist and nun Sister Mary Jo McDonald, a former Butte-Silver Bow County Court clerk and several of the same figures involved in a suit challenging a separate bill […]

Court rejects motion to challenge additional bill as part of SB140 case

By: - May 6, 2021

The state Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a motion from a group of plaintiffs suing over a law signed this session changing how judges are appointed to broaden their challenge to a separate but interlinked bill that would change the makeup of the Judicial Nominating Commission, a body that the original bill in the suit […]

Judicial ethics probe fights over attack mailer

By: - May 5, 2021

The release of a political mailer accusing the Supreme Court of covering up unethical behavior last week had Republicans and Democrats on the Legislature’s Joint Select Committee on Judicial Transparency and Accountability trading barbs and raising various specters of misconduct, but ultimately agreeing — though likely for different reasons — not to finalize a report […]