Author

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.

The Montana state Capitol in Helena shortly after sunrise on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023.

Bill aims to undo 2021 ballot initiative law attorneys argue is unconstitutional

By: - January 23, 2023

A bill heard in a Senate committee Monday aims to undo a law passed by the Montana Legislature in 2021 that subjected ballot initiatives to extra review by interim committees and the Montana Attorney General. At the hearing, multiple attorneys testified the additional oversight is unconstitutional. Senate Bill 153, sponsored by Sen. Brad Molnar, R-Laurel, […]

Republican Congressman Matt Rosendale of Montana speaks at the Montana Freedom Caucus kickoff event on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023.

Rosendale says Montana Freedom Caucus will be ‘tip of the spear’ in pushing conservative agenda

By: - January 20, 2023

Montanans will see benefits from laws made by the newly created Montana Freedom Caucus “for the next several decades,” Republican Montana Congressman Matt Rosendale promised a group of supporters at the state Capitol on Thursday evening. Rosendale, himself a member of the House Freedom Caucus, headlined the kickoff event for the caucus of right-wing lawmakers […]

Rep. Bob Phalen, R-Lindsay, answers questions from the House Judiciary Committee on his House Bill 237 on Friday, Jan. 20, 2023.

Bill would have courts consider abuse, adultery in Montana divorce proceedings

By: - January 20, 2023

A bill that would have Montana courts take into consideration adultery or physical abuse when considering division of property during a couple’s divorce could harm abuse victims and cost them even more in attorney’s fees, a prosecutor and family law attorneys said Friday. “This bill is giving abusive partners a legal tool to use allegations […]

Gianforte appoints new Commissioner of Political Practices

By: - January 19, 2023

Gov. Greg Gianforte on Thursday appointed Chris Gallus to be the next Commissioner of Political Practices pending confirmation by the Senate. Gallus was one of five people interviewed in late December by a nomination committee, which failed to reach a consensus on who to send to the governor for appointment. Because the committee did not […]

Opponents say bill to change Montana obscenity law could have ‘debilitating’ effects

By: - January 19, 2023

Libraries would be better off banning children. Museums might have to censor or throw out pictures of naked victims of the Holocaust or famine. They might need to toss out the Bible too. These were among the arguments from opponents – including librarians, museum directors, and municipal and religious officials – of House Bill 234 […]

Rick Santorum, the Republican former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania and once-presidential candidate, testifies on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023, in favor of a measure that seeks to add Montana to a list of states that want to make an Article V Convention to write amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

Questions abound at hearing on Montana resolution seeking Article V Convention

By: - January 18, 2023

Rick Santorum, the former U.S. Republican senator from Pennsylvania and once-presidential candidate, led testimony Wednesday in favor of a joint resolution seeking to add Montana to a coalition of states that wants to make amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Another 26 proponents of Senate Joint Resolution 2 spoke after him – saying they were fed […]

First documented cases of highly contagious bird flu identified in 3 Montana grizzlies

By: - January 17, 2023

Three juvenile grizzly bears in Montana were euthanized after they tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) last fall in what the state says were the first documented cases of the virus in grizzly bears, according to a news release from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. The bears were euthanized because they were in […]

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

Lawyers question if bill on Montana privacy rights and abortions is constitutional

By: - January 17, 2023

Montana taxpayers might again be on the hook to pay for the state to defend a law that is unconstitutional, according to opponents of a bill that aims to declare that the right to an abortion should not be covered as a privacy right under the state Constitution. Senate Bill 154, sponsored by Sen. Keith […]

Committee tables Montana red-flag law proposal shortly after hearing

By: - January 16, 2023

Erin Harris’s father, a veteran who developed dementia, would point his guns at “imaginary ghosts that were oftentimes innocent people,” she said. He lined his floors and walls with ammunition, she told a House committee Friday as she testified in favor of a bill that would create “an extreme risk protection order” law in Montana. […]

Bills tweaking Montana aerial hunting laws meet hurdles in initial hearings

By: - January 15, 2023

Ranchers losing cattle and sheep to coyotes and foxes want to be able to hire out-of-state aerial hunters statewide to protect their livestock, and the state would like to be sure drones can’t be used to spot or hunt game in Montana, according to two bills that saw their first committee hearings Thursday. “While other […]

Bills aim to repeal Montana voting, elections laws struck down in court

By: - January 13, 2023

Two bills that would repeal Montana laws surrounding voting and elections that have been struck down by judges saw no opposition in the initial committee hearings Friday. Senate Bill 30 aims to repeal the Clean Campaign Act, which was struck down by a federal judge last January, while Senate Bill 31 would repeal the Ballot […]

Gianforte directs Montana FWP to develop new wolf management plan

By: - January 13, 2023

Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte on Thursday ordered Fish, Wildlife and Parks to develop a new state wolf management plan, which the department believes it can finish by the end of the year. “Given the public and legislature’s engagement in wolf management, it is an appropriate time to revisit the Wolf Plan,” Gianforte wrote to FWP […]