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.

Politics is a family business for Speaker Galt

By: - January 10, 2021

Peel back the layers of Montana’s political history and you will quickly encounter the Galt family.  Or just drive around central Montana. There’s a chance you’ll travel on Galt Road in the northeast Helena valley, or more likely, that you’ll end up near the family’s considerable land holdings, the bulk of which are centered around […]

Legislature to hire part-time contact tracer from county

By: - January 8, 2021

The Lewis and Clark County Board of Commissioners will decide next week whether to approve a contract for a county contact tracer to work for the state Legislative Services Division part-time, a move that some within the Legislature fear could be too late now that one lawmaker has already announced a positive COVID-19 diagnosis. The […]

Amendments coming to COVID-19 liability shield bill

By: - January 8, 2021

Sen. Steve Fitzpatrick intends to amend legislation he proposed that would shield businesses and non-profits from coronavirus-related civil liability in response to concerns from committee witnesses he heard Friday, the Great Falls Republican told the Daily Montanan. The bill, a top priority of Gov. Greg Gianforte, would increase the legal standards necessary to bring a case […]

Rep. Bedey tests positive for COVID-19

By: - January 7, 2021

State Rep. David Bedey has tested positive for COVID-19, the Legislature’s coronavirus panel said Thursday night. Bedey contracted the virus “via a non-legislative, non-Capitol contact that occurred prior to the start of the session,” legislative COVID-19 Panel Presumptive Chair Jason Ellsworth announced. He is asymptomatic and in quarantine. Ellsworth, R-Hamilton, said in a statement that […]

Liability shield bill a priority for Gianforte

By: - January 7, 2021

A Senate panel will debate legislation Friday that would make it substantially more difficult for patrons of businesses and other entities to sue if they believe they contracted COVID-19 on the premises.  The bill, Sen. Steve Fitzpatrick’s SB-65, closely aligns with legislation that Gov. Greg Gianforte said this week he wants on his desk if […]

Gianforte unveils his first budget

By: and - January 7, 2021

In his 2023 biennium budget announcement Jan. 7, Gov. Greg Gianforte focused on lowering taxes, reducing spending and enticing private businesses to remain — or relocate — in Montana. Dubbed the “Road Map to the Montana Comeback,” some of Gianforte’s proposals included: Decreasing general fund spending by $100 million during the two fiscal years from […]

Trump supporters are shown in front of the Montana capitol building

Trump supporters gather in Helena

By: and - January 6, 2021

HELENA — More than 100 supporters of the outgoing president gathered peacefully outside of the Montana state capitol Wednesday as mobs of pro-Trump rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol and clashed with police 2,100 miles away in an attempt to prevent the transition of presidential power. Setting the tone in Montana on Wednesday was Dave Von […]

Legislative Dems announce 2021 policy goals

By: - January 6, 2021

Montana Senate and House Democrats this week rolled out a series of policy goals for the 2021 legislative session, including a freeze on tuition for in-state students at Montana’s public colleges, protecting Medicaid expansion and more. Their policy objectives, grouped into four separate buckets, in some instances hew relatively closely to the GOP’s own policy […]

Dems, GOP announce their 2021 legislative priorities

By: - January 6, 2021

Political party leaders announced their priorities Monday at the start of the 2021 Montana Legislature. In the Republican majority, legislators elected Mark Blasdel, R-Kalispell, as President of the Senate, and they named Wylie Galt, R-Martinsdale, Speaker of the House. “Grocery store workers, law enforcement officers, our dedicated healthcare professionals, and so many other Montanans have […]

Short-lived measure to require in-person testimony dies in Senate

By: - January 5, 2021

Kalispell Republican Sen. Keith Regier’s short-lived decision to disallow virtual public testimony in his Senate Judiciary Committee gave way to a ruling from Senate committee chairs that all committees must allow the public to testify over platforms like Zoom.  Regier’s announcement this morning was met with immediate pushback from Democrats on the Judiciary Committee, who […]

Move to adopt 2017 legislative rules fails on opening day

By: - January 5, 2021

Despite promises of unity, House Republicans began drawing internal lines within an hour of the commencement of this year’s legislative session. In the midst of a vote to temporarily adopt 2019 House rules — a set of prescriptions modeled after Senate rules — Rep. Mark Noland, R-Big Fork, made a substitute motion to instead implement 2017 rules, […]

Montana legislators kick off 2021 session

By: - January 5, 2021

HELENA — A new cohort of Montana legislators assumed office Monday with a bolstered Republican majority promising to enact a slate of bold — though at this point, somewhat vague — conservative policies. “Mandate” was the word of the day. With increased majorities in both chambers, a governorship and a host of other statewide offices […]