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 advances TikTok ban, rejects amendment to make it apply more broadly

By: - April 13, 2023

The Montana House on Thursday advanced a bill that aims to ban TikTok in Montana, narrowly rejecting an amendment from Rep. Katie Sullivan that sought to change the bill so it applied to any social media company selling or transferring user data to a foreign adversary. “We can make this count in Montana by coming […]

Sen. Keith Regier, R-Kalispell, testifies in favor of Senate Bill 154 in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023.

Bill that says constitutional right to privacy does not cover abortion headed to governor

By: - April 13, 2023

A bill that aims to put language into Montana law saying the right to individual privacy under the state constitution does not create a right to abortion is headed to Gov. Greg Gianforte’s desk despite questions over its constitutionality. The House on Thursday voted 67-33 – with Rep. Casey Knudsen, R-Malta, joining all Democrats against […]

Rep. Bob Phalen, R-Lindsay, opens testimony on his House Bill 234, which aims to criminalize teachers and school librarians who provide students with material deemed to be "obscene," on Friday, April 7 in the Senate Education and Cultural Resources Committee.

Senate committee amends Phalen’s obscenity bill to keep decisions in hands of locals

By: - April 12, 2023

The Senate Education and Cultural Resources Committee put the knife to Rep. Bob Phalen’s obscenity bill on Wednesday, which sought to punish schoolteachers and school librarians who provide “obscene” material to students, amending the bill to effectively maintain local control over what materials are available to kids in school and clarifying existing law surrounding obscenity. […]

Senate Finance and Claims strips funding for Arizona prison beds from budget bill

By: - April 11, 2023

The Senate Finance and Claims Committee voted Tuesday to strip out from the budget $8 million that would be used to fund 120 CoreCivic prison beds in Arizona for Montana prisoners during the coming biennium. The committee voted 14-5 in bipartisan fashion on an amendment to remove the funding for the out-of-state prison beds Republicans […]

Montanans calling on the government to protect abortion in state law and stop other bills they say are targeted at people's individual health care rights rallied at the state Capitol in Helena on Friday, April 7, 2023.

Planned Parenthood of Montana sues to block Speaker’s abortion restriction bill

By: - April 10, 2023

Planned Parenthood of Montana and its chief medical officer sued the state and the Department of Public Health and Human Services on Monday in an attempt to block a bill awaiting the governor’s signature that would ban a common abortion procedure and penalize medical professionals who provide them. The lawsuit was filed in Lewis and […]

Rep. Bob Phalen, R-Lindsay, opens testimony on his House Bill 234, which aims to criminalize teachers and school librarians who provide students with material deemed to be "obscene," on Friday, April 7 in the Senate Education and Cultural Resources Committee.

Opponents ask committee to kill Montana ‘obscenity’ bill as backer calls for book burning

By: - April 10, 2023

Backers of an obscenity bill that seeks to criminalize school staff told a Senate committee Friday afternoon the committee chair was censoring speech when a proponent tried to read passages from a book aloud, while another told lawmakers: “It looks like there needs to be some book burning.” “In the proponent testimony today, I heard […]

Blackfeet beaded moccasins

Browning man gets probation for stealing sacred artifacts from Museum of the Plains Indian

By: - April 7, 2023

A Browning man was sentenced Thursday to five years of probation and ordered to complete community service and pay restitution after stealing artifacts from the Museum of the Plains Indian in 2021. Preston Jay Spotted Eagle, 32, will have to complete 250 hours of community service and pay $16,860 in restitution under a plea agreement […]

Montana Legislature tweaks upcoming deadlines citing large number of bills

By: - April 5, 2023

The Montana Legislature on Wednesday moved several upcoming deadlines in the final third of the 2023 session, citing a large number of bills still in process. “As you know, we are experiencing a voluminous number of bills this session, so we’re going to move a few transmittal deadlines to help us process the bills,” said […]

Bill preventing restraining orders against government without notice headed to governor’s desk

By: - April 5, 2023

When a Lewis and Clark District Court judge granted a temporary restraining order against the implementation of House Bill 102, the permitless concealed carry measure, in 2021, he said the Board of Regents would suffer an immediate and irreparable injury before Attorney General Austin Knudsen had an opportunity to respond. A bill now headed to […]

Dozens of people packed the Capitol rotunda in Helena on Feb. 1, 2023, to call on lawmakers to stop trying to amend the Montana Constitution.

Most remaining constitutional amendment proposals face long chances at Montana legislature

By: - April 4, 2023

Only one of the proposed constitutional amendments from the 2023 legislature appears to have a strong chance of being sent to Montana voters in 2024 among seven remaining, though several still have long-shot chances after third reading in their initial chambers Tuesday. The House and Senate voted on the remaining referendum proposals – all sponsored […]

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

House votes down Gianforte’s housing proposal, advances ‘compromise’ affordable housing bill

By: - April 4, 2023

The Montana House voted down one of Gov. Greg Gianforte’s major housing proposals in bipartisan fashion Monday and moved ahead with another affordable housing measure proposed by the House speaker and minority leader. House Bill 825, sponsored by Rep. Mike Hopkins, R-Missoula, referred to as the Montana Home Ownership Means Economic Security (HOMES) Act, was […]

Rep. Alice Buckley, D-Bozeman, discusses one of her three bills aimed at bolstering the child care industry in Montana heard on the House floor on Monday, April 3, 2023, ahead of Tuesday's transmittal deadline.

House advances two child care bills ahead of Tuesday’s budget deadline

By: - April 3, 2023

As Montana tries to figure out how to address a mix of child care provider shortages, increasing costs, and parents hoping to get back in the workforce, the House advanced two bills from Rep. Alice Buckley and voted down another that sought to address some of the issues more permanently. The Bozeman Democrat’s House Bill […]