Author

Nicole Girten

Nicole Girten

Nicole Girten is a reporter for the Daily Montanan. She previously worked at the Great Falls Tribune as a government watchdog reporter. She holds a degree from Florida State University and a Master of Science from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

Secretary of State’s Office spends more than $1.3 million on election law litigation

By: - September 22, 2022

The Secretary of State’s office spent about $1.3 million on legal fees, far surpassing its $100,000 budget, defending election laws being challenged in courts in the state. According to a report to the Revenue Interim Committee last week, the legislature budgeted $100,000 to the office for election litigation. The additional money was taken from the […]

Medical professionals, patients speak out against ‘born alive’ referendum

By: - September 21, 2022

Lea Bossler said it was the perfect spring day last year, when her daughter Maesyn breathed fresh air on her own, with no tape or tubes on her face, for the first and last time. “It was three hours of the most beautiful yet devastating heartbreak, but it was peaceful, not traumatic,” Bossler said. Bossler’s […]

Commission votes to reallocate $6 million in workforce training funds to business automation program

By: - September 21, 2022

Lawmakers on an advisory commission voted this week to reallocate $6 million in workforce training funds to an automation loan program for businesses in the state, with several members of the public in opposition. Liane Taylor of the Department of Commerce said that training funds had not been utilized, with nearly $1.2 million awarded to […]

District Court judge rules three laws, including trans-athlete ban, unconstitutional

By: - September 20, 2022

A district court judge struck down three laws that passed in the 2021 Montana Legislature related to college campuses, ruling them unconstitutional, according to a filing in Gallatin County last week. The three bills included the controversial House Bill 112, which banned transgender athletes from participating in collegiate women’s sports, House Bill 349 related to […]

Interim Committee passes two draft bills aimed at taxing electric vehicles

By: - September 20, 2022

The Transportation Interim Committee passed two draft bills on fees for electric vehicles in the state during its final meeting of the interim on Tuesday. The two bills, one related to an annual fee on registered electric vehicles in the state and the other a tax at electric vehicle charging stations, akin to a gas tax. […]

UPDATED: DPHHS complying with court order after judge chides for violation

By: - September 19, 2022

The state health department said Monday it would comply with an order from a District Court judge to allow Montanans to change the gender marker on their birth certificate — after issuing a statement last week in apparent defiance of the judge. Monday, Yellowstone County Judge Michael Moses reiterated in a written order that the […]

DPHHS says rule on birth certificate gender markers in effect despite judge’s order

By: - September 15, 2022

The state health department is enforcing its rule largely barring transgender Montanans from being able to update the gender marker on their birth certificate despite scathing comments and an order Thursday from a District Court judge. In a court hearing, Yellowstone County Judge Michael Moses said a 2017 rule that allowed a birth certificate to […]

Nonprofit recommends more patient info for Medicaid-funded abortion in Montana

By: - September 15, 2022

A nonprofit tasked with conducting an in-depth review of abortions in Montana that were covered by state Medicaid funds was unable to determine if the 221 cases met the definition of “medically necessary,” citing “lack of documentation.” Mountain-Pacific Quality Health, a Helena-based nonprofit focused on improving health care networks, was tasked by the Montana Department […]

DPHHS adopts rule change on amending gender markers on birth certificates

By: - September 9, 2022

The state health department has adopted a proposed rule change that bars transgender Montanans from being able to update the gender marker on their birth certificate. The rule change is a result of the Department of Public Health and Human Services’ enforcement of Senate Bill 280, which passed in the 2021 legislative session and said […]

Public notice draft legislation tabled after Montana news organizations testify

By: - September 8, 2022

After Montana news organization leaders testified this week against draft legislation that would allow local municipalities to publish public notice online, rather than in print newspapers, lawmakers tabled the bill. The draft bill, PD12, sought to allow counties and municipalities to electronically publish required notices that alert the public to future government action. But the […]

Public safety officials from Great Falls propose All Hazards Training Facility

By: - September 7, 2022

Public safety officials in Cascade County want to build a $20 million facility that would strengthen training for first responders in the Treasure State — and potentially beyond — and improve communication among different agencies during emergencies. Great Falls Fire Department Chief Jeremy Jones spoke before the Local Government Interim Committee on Wednesday to propose […]

Despite a bit of spitting, name calling, parents will keep bringing kids to Drag Queen Story Hours

By: - September 6, 2022

Brittney Arnold was driving up the gravel road to ZooMT for the Drag Queen Story Hour event in Billings with her 11 year-old daughter and three friends in her Dodge Nitro when a wad of spit blotched the passenger side front window.  Picketers tried to block the driveway leading to the zoo with signs, some […]