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 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 […]

Montana Republicans take aim at environmental reviews, regulations

By: - April 14, 2023

The Montana Legislature introduced a new bill Friday that would exempt the Department of Environmental Quality from adhering to air quality and emissions standards when authorizing or changing permits, effectively banning regulation of greenhouse gasses, which the House Speaker said was being done because of a ruling last week regarding NorthWestern Energy’s Laurel Generation Station […]

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 […]