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.

Hundreds of conservation and public land supporters rallied at the Capitol in Helena to oppose bills that would strip marijuana tax revenue away from the Habitat Montana program on Feb. 23, 2023.

Competing bills, opinions could determine reallocation of Montana marijuana tax revenue

By: - March 31, 2023

Fights are ramping up at the state Capitol over what to do with Montana’s marijuana tax revenue and its funding of the Habitat Montana conservation program, as the two bills still moving through the legislature that address both contain vastly different end goals. Conservation and outdoors groups have been loudly outspoken about what they see […]

The Montana Capitol in Helena during a snowstorm on March 30, 2023.

Latest slate of Montana abortion bills advance ahead of upcoming deadline

By: - March 30, 2023

The latest round of Republican bills aimed at restricting abortions or putting new conditions on them in Montana, including one introduced Wednesday afternoon, advanced Thursday in party-line votes. House Bill 968 from Rep. Amy Regier, R-Kalispell, which was first noticed to the public Wednesday, passed out of the House Judiciary Committee in a 13-6 vote […]

Opponents say Regier’s marijuana bill would kill industry, cost Montana millions

By: - March 29, 2023

Sen. Keith Regier’s bill to repeal adult-use marijuana in Montana is an effort to undo the will of voters, would kill hundreds of small businesses and thousands of jobs, harm sick people who rely on medical marijuana, and cost the state millions of dollars, opponents told a Senate committee Wednesday. Nicole Hobday, a former industry […]

The Montana state Capitol in Helena on the opening day of the 2023 legislative session on Jan. 2, 2023.

‘Compromise’ bill aims to put $100+ million more toward Montana affordable housing program

By: - March 28, 2023

A compromise between the Republican House Speaker and Democratic House Minority Leader could send another $115 million to the coal severance tax trust fund to be put toward housing for low- and middle-income Montanans. Speaker Matt Regier, R-Kalispell, introduced House Bill 927 Tuesday, which cleared the House Taxation Committee in a unanimous vote shortly after […]

The Montana Senate votes to concur with House amendments on Senate Bill 99 on Tuesday, March 28, 2023, the penultimate vote before the measure would be sent to the governor's desk.

Montana ban on gender-affirming care nears governor’s desk after Senate vote

By: - March 28, 2023

The bill that would ban gender-affirming care for children in Montana and punish providers is on the verge of being sent to the governor’s desk after the Senate on Tuesday concurred with the amendments made in the House. The Senate voted 33-17 – Sen. Terry Vermeire, R-Anaconda being the lone Republican no vote – to […]

Rep. Alice Buckley, D-Bozeman, urges the House floor to vote for House Bill 648 on its second reading on Monday, March 27, 2023.

Best Beginnings Scholarship expansion clears initial House vote with bipartisan support

By: - March 27, 2023

On its first floor vote Monday, 23 House Republicans joined all 32 Democrats to advance Bozeman Democratic Rep. Alice Buckley’s bill to expand the Best Beginnings Scholarship program, which provides child care scholarships for low-income families in Montana. Three Republicans spoke up in favor of House Bill 648, saying it would be a benefit for […]

Bill aims to prohibit Montana Medicaid abortion funding in most instances

By: - March 27, 2023

The House Judiciary Committee heard testimony on a bill Monday that would prohibit public funds from being used to pay for abortions unless they were the result of rape or incest, or if the mother’s life is at risk. House Bill 862 sponsor Rep. Mike Hopkins, R-Missoula, said committee members, regardless of party, should agree that […]

Bill to ban gender-affirming care in Montana clears key House hurdle

By: - March 23, 2023

House Democrats pleaded with their Republican colleagues Thursday to stay out of other Montanans’ health care decisions and reject a bill that would ban gender-affirming care for minors and punish providers.  After addressing her colleagues, Rep. Emma Kerr-Carpenter, D-Billings, looked directly into the camera mounted at the front of the chamber, broadcasting the hearing to […]

Section D subcommittee chair Rep. Bill Mercer, R-Billings, outlines the Section D portion of House Bill 2 during the second reading floor discussion on the budget for the next biennium on March 22, 2023.

Legislative budget proposal breaks with governor on OPD, prison bed shortage requests

By: - March 22, 2023

The section of House Bill 2 that concerns the judicial branch, law enforcement and justice contains tens of millions of dollars worth of additional investments compared to the past biennium, but breaks with the governor’s requests on certain aspects, like more support for the Office of State Public Defender and how to deal with a […]

Rep. Buckley’s Best Beginnings Scholarship expansion moves forward

By: - March 22, 2023

A bill that aims to expand eligibility for a scholarship that helps lower-income Montanans pay for child care and could help another 723 children is moving forward after some tweaks and a bipartisan vote. Rep. Alice Buckley’s House Bill 648 passed the House Human Services Committee on Friday, as amended, on a 13-8 vote, with six […]

Rep. Bill Mercer, R-Billings, testifies on House Bills 512 and 518 in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, March 21, 2023.

Senate Judiciary hears bills aiming to give legislature, lawmakers powers in lawsuits

By: - March 21, 2023

Rep. Bill Mercer said Tuesday he felt some attorneys would be willing to work for free on behalf of the legislature if the body wants to defend the constitutionality of a bill it passes in court, or if it wants to sue an agency it believes is not adhering to a law it passes. The […]

Rep. Greg Frazer, R-Deer Lodge, presents his House Bill 380 to the House Appropriations Committee on Monday, March 20, 2023.

Proponents say homeless provider grant proposal would have positive community impacts

By: - March 20, 2023

A bill that would provide $2 million over the next biennium in state matching funds to nonprofits and local governments that serve Montana’s homeless population would have positive economic impacts for the communities that receive them beyond what can be measured in the fiscal note, proponents of the measure told the House Appropriations Committee on […]