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.

Montana House votes to discipline Rep. Zephyr, ban from floor, gallery

By: , and - April 26, 2023

Rep. Zooey Zephyr will not be allowed on the floor or gallery of the Montana House of Representatives for the remainder of the legislative session and will only be allowed to participate via Zoom after Republicans on Wednesday voted to punish the Missoula Democrat for what they said were her breaches of decorum and House […]

House Speaker Matt Regier, R-Kalispell, speaks to the press a day after seven people were arrested in the House gallery protesting his not recognizing Rep. Zooey Zephyr, D-Missoula, on the House floor. Speaker Pro Tem Rhonda Knudsen and Majority Leader Sue Vinton joined him at the news conference.

Montana House cancels Tuesday floor session as leadership considers response to Zephyr protests

By: and - April 25, 2023

The Montana House canceled its floor session on Tuesday as Republican leadership determines its next steps following Monday’s protest in the chamber that led to the arrests of seven people. House Speaker Matt Regier, R-Kalispell, held a brief news conference Tuesday morning in which he said Monday was “a dark day” for the state and […]

Police in riot gear push protesters out of the Montana House gallery on Monday, April 24, 2023.

At least seven arrested after protest in gallery in support of Rep. Zephyr

By: - April 24, 2023

Law enforcement officers from three agencies detained several people Monday after protesting in the gallery of the Montana House against the Republican Speaker’s silencing of Missoula Democratic Rep. Zooey Zephyr. A Lewis and Clark County sheriff’s deputy said eight people were inside the jail awaiting booking for criminal trespassing around 5:30 p.m., Monday. People who were […]

Bills addressing environmental reviews for Montana energy, mining projects move forward

By: - April 23, 2023

The Montana House amended the legislature’s new bill introduced in response to a Yellowstone County judge’s ruling about greenhouse gas emissions from an under-construction NorthWestern Energy power plant in Laurel on Friday to keep most of the Montana Environmental Policy Act process in place. The amended version of House Bill 971 now says that environmental […]

Funding to send Montana prisoners to Arizona private prison reinstated by Senate committee

By: - April 21, 2023

The Senate Finance and Claims Committee voted Friday to put the $3.9 million annually that would go toward funding 120 beds for Montana prisoners at a CoreCivic private prison in Arizona into a separate bill after nixing the funding several other times this session. The vote to put the money back toward the out-of-state prison […]

House Democrats stand up to order a vote on whether Speaker Matt Regier, R-Kalispell, should be allowed to not recognize Rep. Zooey Zephyr, D-Missoula, over comments she made earlier this week.

Republican House Speaker bars Zephyr from speaking on chamber floor

By: - April 20, 2023

Rep. Zooey Zephyr, Montana’s first openly transgender state lawmaker, will not be able to speak on the House floor until she apologizes publicly for telling Republicans earlier this week they should be ashamed of their votes in favor of a bill that would ban gender-affirming care for children in Montana, the Republican House speaker said […]

People opposing Senate Bill 99 and anti-abortion bills at the Montana Legislature rallied inside the Capitol on April 7, 2023.

Lawmakers send amended SB99 back to Gianforte; Zephyr ‘unconcerned’ with call for censure

By: - April 19, 2023

The Montana Legislature on Wednesday gave final approval to amendments to the bill banning gender-affirming care in the state, changes requested by Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte, and sent the bill back to his desk to await his signature. The House voted 65-33 to pass Senate Bill 99 as amended on third reading, as Republican Reps. […]

House committee tables ‘jungle primary’ bill targeting Montana’s 2024 U.S. Senate race

By: - April 19, 2023

The House State Administration Committee on Wednesday tabled in a 17-1 vote Sen. Greg Hertz’s bill that sought to create a “top-two primary” solely for Democratic U.S. Sen. Jon Tester’s 2024 re-election bid. Rep. Greg Frazer, R-Deer Lodge, told the committee he had heard from many of his constituents asking him to vote against the […]

Bills targeting judge’s ruling on Laurel plant emissions moving forward to House floor

By: - April 18, 2023

Two bills that aim to change Montana law in response to a judge’s ruling earlier this month regarding estimated greenhouse gas emissions from a NorthWestern Energy power plant in Laurel are headed to the House floor after clearing the House Natural Resources Committee on Monday. The committee passed House Bill 971, which was introduced by […]

UPDATED: Lawmakers sign off on governor’s amendments to bill banning gender-affirming care

By: - April 18, 2023

Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte on Monday recommended amendments be made to Senate Bill 99, the legislature’s proposed ban on gender-affirming care for minors, calling the term “Orwellian Newspeak” and asking lawmakers to “strengthen” the bill by tweaking certain language around the definitions of “male” and “female.” “I share your profound commitment to protect Montana children […]

The PSC redistricting map proposed by Sen. Keith Regier, R-Kalispell, in Senate Bill 109.

Republican bill drawing new Public Service Commission districts headed to governor

By: - April 18, 2023

A bill is headed to Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte’s desk that redraws the Public Service Commission district lines in a matter that Democrats have criticized as unfairly balancing them to favor Republicans. The House voted 65-32 on Monday to pass Sen. Keith Regier’s Senate Bill 109 on third reading – its final hurdle before going […]

Montana Senate ‘guts’ Mitchell’s bill targeting drag performances, carrier says

By: - April 17, 2023

The Montana Senate on Monday voted to “gut,” as the Senate carrier told the chamber, Columbia Falls Republican Rep. Braxton Mitchell’s bill targeting drag performances. The amended version of House Bill 359 removes all references to drag and clarifies in law that “adult-oriented” performances cannot be done at schools, places that receive state funding, or […]