Blair Miller

Blair Miller

Blair Miller is a reporter based in Helena who primarily covers government, climate and courts. He's been a journalist for more than 12 years, previously based in Denver, Albuquerque and mid-Missouri.

Sen. Keith Regier, R-Kalispell, testifies in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Friday, Feb. 17, 2023.

Judges Association offers olive branch on Judicial Standards Commission transparency

By: - February 17, 2023

A lobbyist for the Montana Judges Association said Friday the association agrees there should be more transparency surrounding the Judicial Standards Commission and complaints filed against judges, and offered amendments to the bill the sponsor said he partially agreed with. “It is obvious from comments over the years that people think there’s machinations going on […]

The Montana state Capitol in Helena on Jan. 2, 2023.

Bill seeks to reallocate marijuana tax revenue away from Habitat Montana program

By: - February 17, 2023

The Governor’s Office is behind a bill heard in a House committee Thursday that aims to reduce the amount of money going toward the Habitat Montana conservation program by eliminating an estimated $8 million to $9 million annually in marijuana revenue and putting it toward police, prosecutors and correctional officers. The sponsor of House Bill […]

House Judiciary amends Montana bill targeting drag performances, sends it to House floor

By: - February 15, 2023

The House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday passed on party lines a bill targeting drag performances in Montana after amending it so it will apply to any place that receives any sort of state funding. Two amendments to Rep. Braxton Mitchell’s House Bill 359, which was heard in the committee last week, passed on party lines […]

Sen. Barry Usher, R-Yellowstone County, testifies on Feb. 15, 2023, at the Senate Judiciary Committee on behalf of his Senate Bill 311, which aims to reduce the number of justices on the Montana Supreme Court.

Bill to reduce number of Montana Supreme Court justices is unconstitutional, opponents say

By: - February 15, 2023

A bill that would reduce the number of Montana Supreme Court justices during the next few years would create backlogs that would delay judicial decisions and might violate the constitution, representatives for Montana judges and attorneys told a Senate committee Wednesday. “Justice delayed is justice denied,” said Bruce Spencer, representing the Montana Judges Association. Senate […]

Montana Senate confirms Chris Gallus as Commissioner of Political Practices

By: - February 14, 2023

New Commissioner of Political Practices Chris Gallus joked outside of the Senate floor Tuesday afternoon that he had three times the opposition to his confirmation than his predecessor, Jeff Mangan. “But, you know, 47 to 3 is a good, solid vote,” he said. Gallus, the longtime attorney with a history of working in Montana political […]

Democratic bills aim to increase legislative transparency, Indigenous education for lawmakers

By: - February 14, 2023

Two bills from Democratic senators heard in a Senate committee Tuesday seek respectively to increase transparency surrounding legal analyses of measures at the Montana Legislature and to better educate lawmakers on tribal history and affairs, their sponsors said. The committee heard Senate Bill 233 from Sen. Shane Morigeau, D-Missoula, which would require more materials and […]

Sen. Shane Morigeau, D-Missoula, who is a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, testifies on behalf of his Senate Bill 141, which would have replaced Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples' Day in Montana.

Senate committee tables Montana bill to create Indigenous Peoples’ Day on party-line vote

By: - February 13, 2023

The latest attempt to replace Columbus Day in Montana with Indigenous Peoples’ Day was tabled Monday on a party-line vote. Around 30 people testified last week on behalf of this year’s attempt to change the holiday, which was again sponsored Sen. Shane Morigeau, D-Missoula, who is a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. […]

Committee tables Montana bill aiming to limit science education to ‘scientific fact’

By: - February 13, 2023

A Senate committee, including the sponsor himself, voted Monday to table a bill that drew heavy opposition last week from teachers, students and others in the STEM community that would have limited science instruction to “scientific fact.” The Senate Education and Cultural Resources Committee tabled Senate Bill 235, sponsored by Sen. Daniel Emrich, R-Great Falls, […]

‘User fee’ bill would harm Montana nonprofits with already-slim margins, opponents say

By: - February 9, 2023

More than a dozen nonprofit organization officials told a Republican lawmaker Wednesday her bill was a tax masquerading as a fee that targets some of Montana’s most vulnerable people and the organizations that serve them. “Additional fees and expenses would have a disastrous impact on our member agencies who are currently fighting for enough funding […]

Rep. Bob Phalen, R-Lindsay, gives his opening remarks to the House on the second reading of his House Bill 234 on Feb. 8, 2023.

House advances obscenity bill that would subject school employees to criminal liability

By: - February 8, 2023

The Montana House advanced a bill Wednesday that seeks to open up public school employees to prosecution if they show or provide children with materials deemed to be obscene. House Bill 234, sponsored by Lindsay Republican Bob Phalen, passed its second reading in a 55-45 vote, with 13 Republicans voting against it along with all […]

Montana senators look on as votes are tallied on the second reading of Senate Bill 99 on Feb. 7, 2023.

Montana bill that would deny teens gender-affirming care passes Senate hurdle in fiery hearing

By: - February 7, 2023

Montana’s Democratic legislative leaders said Tuesday morning they would fight a bill that seeks to deny gender-affirming care to transgender children and punish medical professionals who perform it – and while the measure did pass a key hurdle in the Senate, the fight occurred, too. Following an hour of discussion, multiple calls from Democrats for […]

A student from Capital High School testifies in opposition to Senate Bill 235 on Feb. 6, 2023.

Montana students, teachers blast bill that would limit science education to ‘scientific fact’

By: - February 6, 2023

Several Montana middle- and high-school students said Monday that a lawmaker did not correctly interpret scientific theory and that his bill would ban common theories, like gravity, from being taught in schools – hampering their education and futures in STEM fields. They, along with several award-winning Montana science teachers and representatives from the Board of […]