Author

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.

House passes one concealed carry bill while Senate kills another

By: - February 25, 2021

A pair of bills in the House and Senate to expand the right to carry a concealed firearm in public buildings faced different fates during voting Thursday. The lower chamber passed House Bill 436, sponsored by Rep. Scot Kerns, R-Great Falls, on a 66-32 vote. That bill will ban local governments from enacting ordinances preventing […]

Bill would replace Montana elections watchdog with Secretary of State

By: - February 25, 2021

When Montana’s Commissioner of Political Practices dismissed a residency complaint from Tom Woods against his opponent in a race for the Public Service Commission, the former lawmaker said he realized two things. “To me, it proves the commissioner makes mistakes,” Woods told the House State Administration Committee. “To you, it proves the commissioner does not […]

House panel passes broadband “dig once” bill

By: - February 25, 2021

A House panel on Wednesday signed off on legislation Wednesday to facilitate broadband development in rural Montana by taking advantage of existing infrastructure projects, one of several proposals from lawmakers in both parties and the governor to bolster internet access in the state. House Bill 494, dubbed the “dig once” bill, directs the Montana Department […]

Bill would impose up to 30-year prison term for damaging “critical infrastructure”

By: - February 25, 2021

Proposed legislation under consideration by a House panel this week would harshen criminal penalties for trespassing on or damaging pipelines, dams, power generation facilities and all other manner of “critical infrastructure,” an effort arising in states nationwide following high-profile demonstrations at oil installations in the last several years. Under House Bill 481, a person who […]

Bill banning gender-affirming surgery for minors passes House vote

By: - February 24, 2021

The state House on Wednesday gave preliminary approval to legislation that would ban doctors from prescribing or administering gender-affirming surgery to transgender or non-binary minors in Montana, a reversal of course after lawmakers in the chamber killed a more wide-ranging proposal with similar aims earlier in the session. House Bill 427 passed 59 to 40, […]

GOP tax cut bills pass Senate vote

By: - February 23, 2021

The Senate on Tuesday gave preliminary approval to three of Gov. Greg Gianforte’s flagship tax reduction proposals, leaving one last vote in the upper chamber before the bills move to the House. Two of the bills slice the top income tax rate in Montana. Senate Bill 159 would reduce taxes on income above $17,400 from […]

House panel ices earned-income tax expansion

By: - February 23, 2021

Lawmakers on the House Taxation Committee on Tuesday voted down legislation expanding Montana’s earned income tax credit and adding a tax bracket for top earners just an hour after the bill had its first hearing, leaving Democrats to look for other ways to bolster what they say is one of the state’s most successful anti-poverty […]

More changes coming to county health board, emergency power oversight bills

By: - February 22, 2021

The state House of Representatives on Monday began the process of reconciling several overlapping proposals to limit the scope of public health policymaking in Montana, promulgating amendments to existing legislation aiming to check the authority of both the governor and county health officials in times of crisis. The amendments the House Business and Labor committee […]

Land-transfer bill passes House

By: - February 22, 2021

The state House Monday passed legislation on a one-vote margin that opponents warn is a “red herring” aiming to subtly open the door to the sale of public land in Montana. The body passed House Bill 320, sponsored by Rep. Steve Gunderson, R-Libby, on a 51-49 vote, sending it to the Senate. The bill, despite […]

Stafman follows divine flow to the Legislature

By: - February 21, 2021

The first question of Jewish law that Representative Ed Stafman had to settle following the beginning of his tenure as a rabbi at Congregation Beth Shalom in Bozeman was, naturally, related to fishing. Is it, as a person of the Jewish faith, ethical to catch a fish and release it back into the river, a […]

Right-to-work bills get committee hearing

By: - February 19, 2021

Two of Montana’s largest employers and the labor unions who represent the bulk of their workers found common ground this week, uniting in a committee hearing to oppose a major overhaul to private-sector labor law in Montana, a state with a storied union history. At issue is House Bill 251, the most sweeping of several […]

GOP lawmaker proposes to create child support requirement for food stamps

By: - February 19, 2021

Jessica Harding’s story didn’t start out with poverty, she told lawmakers on the House Human Services Committee on Thursday. But that’s the situation she was thrust into during the pandemic, out of work for the second time in recent years and in the midst of a six-month wait for unemployment to hit. Though she once […]