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.

Bills aimed at speeding up construction in Montana see little opposition in Senate committee

By: - January 11, 2023

Two bills that aim to reduce the time it takes for land use and certain construction project decisions to be made at the local level breezed through their first committee hearing Wednesday without significant opposition. They are among a slate of bills related to housing and construction planned for this session as Montana’s housing shortage […]

Bill aims to expand treatment options for naturopathic providers in Montana

By: - January 11, 2023

Naturopathic physicians in Montana would be able to prescribe more approved treatments to their patients if a bill heard Wednesday — one opposed by the Montana Medical Association and some medical doctors — becomes law. Naturopathic physicians are not currently federally recognized, said Ingrid Lovitt, the director of the Montana Association of Naturopathic Physicians. Lovitt […]

Resolution calls on Congress to fully fund law enforcement on Montana reservations

By: - January 11, 2023

A joint resolution heard in committee Tuesday seeks to press Congress and the federal government to fully fund public safety and law enforcement agencies, and services on tribal reservations in Montana as one tribe says its funding has barely increased in 25 years. In addition to pushing Congress for full funding, the resolution, SJ5, calls […]

Hearing on Montana Water Court overhaul highlights divisions over water rights

By: - January 10, 2023

A Senate committee hearing Monday on a bill that seeks to overhaul the Montana Water Court as the state tries to finish working through 50 years of water rights adjudication showed just how complicated water law is, and how many people it affects in the Treasure State. Senate Bill 72 had its first hearing Monday […]

Montana tries again on annual fees for electric vehicles

By: - January 6, 2023

Another attempt to impose annual fees on electric vehicles in Montana saw its first legislative committee hearing Friday following Gov. Greg Gianforte’s 2021 veto of a similar measure — and extensive work done since by an interim committee to come up with what the sponsor says is a good compromise. House Bill 60, sponsored again […]

East Helena man sentenced to 46 months in prison for Jan. 6 Capitol breach

By: - January 6, 2023

One of two Montana brothers sentenced to 46 months in prison for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol mob.

Gianforte calls on lawmakers to pass tax relief proposals ‘as quickly as possible’

By: - January 5, 2023

Gov. Greg Gianforte wants to sign a property tax relief bill as soon as possible — and he wants to be sure counties are being good stewards of property taxes as well. The Republican governor, speaking at his first news conference of the legislative session, said he would like lawmakers to make child tax credit […]

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

Indigenous lawmakers push back as GOP senator calls for investigation into reservation alternatives

By: - January 4, 2023

A draft joint resolution from Sen. Keith Regier, R-Kalispell, aims to push Congress to investigate “alternatives” to American Indian reservations, arguing they have “failed to positively enhance the lives and well-being of most of the Indians or the other citizens of the State of Montana.” “Is there a better way of supplying for these Indians […]

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

Republican Zack Wirth picked to fill Montana House District 80 vacancy

By: - January 3, 2023

Commissioners from Lewis and Clark and Powell counties on Tuesday picked Zack Wirth, a Republican rancher from south of Wolf Creek, to fill the House District 80 seat vacated by Becky Beard’s appointment to Senate District 40. All three Lewis and Clark County commissioners voted to appoint Wirth to the seat, while the Powell County […]

Committee hears proposed changes to Montana’s alcohol licensing laws

By: - January 3, 2023

Getting a bloody Mary or Montana microbrew before your next flight out of the Treasure State could get easier if one of several proposed bills heard Tuesday moves forward. The House Business and Labor Committee heard testimony Tuesday morning on proposed amendments to Montana law that involve alcohol:  Expanding opportunities for bars within Montana’s airports.  […]

A rendering of the plans for the Cooney Campus of Florence Crittenton Family Services.

Four Montana communities to receive $3.3M to renovate, build affordable housing

By: - January 3, 2023

Four Montana communities will receive federal funding from the Montana Housing Division to preserve or build a total of 66 affordable homes for lower-income single mothers, seniors and families, the Department of Commerce announced Tuesday. About $3.3 million total will be allocated to the Colorado Apartments in Belgrade; Bigfork Senior Housing in Bigfork; Meadowlark Senior […]

A group of about two dozen activists demonstrated inside the state Capitol then marched around it on the first day of the 2023 Montana Legislature.

Activists protest GOP supermajority on first day of 2023 Montana Legislature

By: - January 2, 2023

A group of Montanans came to the state Capitol in Helena on the first day of the 2023 legislative session to show and tell the Republican supermajority they feel their agenda does not represent Montana as a whole. Some of them were self-identified Democrats and activists, many with the groups Occupy MT Legislature and Moms […]