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.

Jacobsen proposes new PSC districts under court order despite disagreement

By: - February 24, 2022

Montana’s Secretary of State has proposed a redrawing of the state’s Public Service Commission districts which would likely bring them in constitutional compliance, despite the office’s insistence that only the Legislature should adjust the body’s electoral geography. Attorneys for Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen argued in court documents this week that the 2022 elections for […]

Restoration of North Coast Hiawatha line to be part of infra bill study

By: - February 22, 2022

Officials are confident that the long-defunct Amtrak line that once snaked through Montana’s southern tier en route to the West Coast will be part of a forthcoming federal study into discontinued intercity passenger rail lines — an important step in the mission to restore Amtrak service between the state’s most populous cities. Dave Strohmaier, a […]

Election lookahead: A possible GOP supermajority, a midterm environment, looming U.S. House races

By: - February 20, 2022

The 2022 election in Montana is well underway. Such a declaration might seem a bit premature – there’s still time for new candidates to enter their races, dozens of contested primaries to be sorted before June, nine months before November. Some prospective electeds are likely still more concerned with calving season. Yet, with a pair […]

Special session push over PSC districts, elections stalls

By: - February 18, 2022

A push from a group of Republican lawmakers to assemble the Legislature in a special session to redraw Public Service Commission districts has fizzled out. Rep. Derek Skees, R-Kalispell, who is running for PSC this cycle and has been the driving force behind the push for a special session, said in a letter to Gov. […]

FWP: Wolf hunting season in SW Montana over after 82 wolves killed

By: - February 17, 2022

Montana regulators have closed a region in the southwestern part of the state to wolf hunting and trapping after the total number of wolves killed in the area, which borders Yellowstone National Park, reached a management threshold this week. The department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks said Thursday that hunters and trappers have killed 82 […]

Tester, Daines at odds over Biden Federal Reserve pick amid GOP boycott

By: - February 16, 2022

Republican members of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee including Montana Sen. Steve Daines boycotted a confirmation vote for President Joe Biden’s five picks to the Federal Reserve on Tuesday, citing unanswered questions about the nominee for vice chair for supervision, Sarah Bloom Raskin. Both Daines and Democratic Montana Sen. Jon Tester sit on the committee, […]

Gianforte: Special session OK, but only if to draw new PSC districts

By: - February 15, 2022

Gov. Greg Gianforte and Republican legislative leaders said Tuesday they in principle agree with emerging calls from the caucus for a special session to redraw Public Service Commission districts before the 2022 election, but cast skepticism over a request to use that special session to create and fund a select committee on election integrity. State […]

Pot law ‘pinch points’ include dispute over cultivator growth

By: - February 10, 2022

Regulators, lawmakers and business owners are still struggling to clear up ambiguities in Montana’s pot law, with a legislative panel tasked with reviewing the first year of recreational marijuana in Montana submitting comments to the state Department of Revenue on Thursday disputing the agency’s approach to regulating how quickly a marijuana cultivator can scale up […]

Audit questions thousands in expenditures by recipients of MDT grants

By: - February 9, 2022

Legislative auditors said this week that insufficient internal controls at the Montana Department of Transportation led them to question $278,000 in costs related to the allocation of federal grants, and that more unsupported expenditures could still loom. MDT concurred with the findings and said it was working to shore up its monitoring and compliance efforts. […]

Montana Supreme Court rules against media in open meetings suit

By: - February 8, 2022

The Montana Supreme Court ruled in favor of a state legislative committee chairman on Tuesday in a right-to-know suit brought by Montana media organizations seeking access to closed-door committee deliberations during the 2021 session. In a 5-1 opinion authored by Chief Justice Mike McGrath, the high court affirmed an earlier ruling dismissing the case and […]

Judge rules late amendments to campaign finance bill illegal

By: - February 4, 2022

Policies regarding student political organizing and judicial recusals that lawmakers quietly added to a bill in the waning hours of the 2021 legislative session violate state constitutional provisions restricting legislation to a single subject, a Montana district court judge ruled Thursday. Senate Bill 319, sponsored by Sen. Greg Hertz, R-Polson, began its life as a […]

ARPA broadband commission to begin accepting project submissions

By: - February 4, 2022

A legislative panel will next week begin accepting submissions for broadband infrastructure projects funded through the federal American Rescue Plan Act, Sen. Jason Ellsworth, R-Hamilton, announced Thursday afternoon. The ARPA Communications Advisory Commission will meet Monday for the first of three public hearings to discuss project applications and general program information, and begin fielding proposals […]