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.

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 […]

‘Personhood amendment’ fails Senate vote

By: - April 14, 2021

Republicans in the Senate failed to gather enough votes Wednesday to send to voters a constitutional amendment that would define “personhood” in the state constitution and effectively ban abortions throughout Montana. The so-called “personhood amendment,” proposed in the form of Belgrade GOP Rep. Caleb Hinkle’s House Bill 337, received 29 of the 34 votes necessary […]

Legislature officially enters judicial appointments lawsuit

By: - April 13, 2021

An attorney representing legislative leadership formally filed a motion with the state Supreme Court this afternoon for the Legislature to intervene in a court case against Senate Bill 140, a proposal signed by the governor that would give the executive the ability to fill judicial vacancies in lieu of the Judicial Nomination Commission. Lawmakers this […]

Public assistance verification plan hits snag in committee

By: - April 13, 2021

A House panel Monday afternoon voted to table legislation that would end Medicaid “continuous eligibility” in Montana and require state health officials to cross-check public assistance eligibility across a series of databases after several Republicans joined Democrats in opposing the bill. Without explaining their votes, Reps. Sharon Greef, R-Florence, Greg Frazer, R-Deer Lodge, Mallerie Stromswold, […]

Court administrator asks Supreme Court to intervene while lawmakers move ahead to join lawsuit

By: and - April 13, 2021

In an emergency filing with the state’s highest court, the Montana Courts Administrator is asking the justices to take jurisdiction over the release of thousands of her emails, and stop the legislative subpoena which called upon the executive branch to take the judicial branch’s records on behalf of the legislative branch. Randy Cox, attorney for […]

Montana House votes down amendment to transgender sports bill protecting Title IX funds

By: - April 12, 2021

The state House on Monday voted not to concur with amendments from the Senate to legislation restricting the ability of transgender students to participate in school sports that would have protected Montana’s federal education funding if the bill became law. The Senate amendment to House Bill 112 would void the act in its entirety if […]