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.

Legislators criticize $0 fiscal note for bill defining sex in statute

By: - March 11, 2023

Sen. Christopher Pope, D-Bozeman, said it looked like the fiscal note for a bill that would define sex as male and female in Montana law was “put together in three and a half minutes.” He said he knew that wasn’t the case. “This is concerning to me,” Pope said. Pope was one of several Democrats […]

After debate on the floor, grant for the unhoused passes first hurdle in the House

By: - March 10, 2023

Heavy snowfall could be seen outside the windows of the House floor as Montana representatives debated providing funding for shelters for the unhoused around the state. Rep. Neil Duram, R-Eureka, said Friday as he looked outside it was “inconvenient” to be homeless in Montana. Duram spoke in opposition to House Bill 380, which would allocate […]

House Republican leadership holds a news conference after the transmittal deadline on Friday, March 3, 2023.

GOP lauds tax breaks, culture bills as Democrats criticize supermajority at halfway mark

By: and - March 3, 2023

The Montana Legislature hit the transmittal deadline Friday – the halfway mark of the 2023 session – after sending more than 550 bills to the other chamber in the first 45 days, including hundreds during the last few days. Republicans celebrated the accomplishments of their supermajority, citing tax relief and some of their culture-related bills […]

Speaker’s bill among abortion legislation likely headed to the Senate

By: - March 2, 2023

Rep. Laurie Bishop, D-Livingston, said that the legislature cannot determine whether legislation is consistent with the constitution, and that the courts have determined time and again that abortion restrictions are unconstitutional. “There is no code you can write that will change that,” she said. Bishop said this in opposition to a bill proposed by House […]

Religion in schools, consolidated ballots and ‘passion’ on the House floor

By: - March 2, 2023

Rep. Caleb Hinkle said private guardian ad litems in Gallatin County were a “frickin’ problem” in a heated closing to his bill that ultimately failed Thursday.   Emotions were high on several issues Thursday morning as legislators rushed to meet Friday’s transmittal deadline, or the deadline for all bills without money attached to them.   Hinkle, a […]

24-week abortion ban, charter schools and right-to-work fails again: House hustles to deadline

By: - March 1, 2023

The house passed a 24-week abortion ban, money for charter schools, among dozens of other bills during the first leg of their day-long floor session on Wednesday. Both chambers are doing all-day floor sessions in order to pass bills in the run up to the transmittal deadline on Friday, which requires bills without a fiscal […]

Bullying, tax breaks and ‘alien’ ballots: bills pass House hurdle as transmittal closes in

By: - February 28, 2023

A bill that would give a tax break to top earners in the state looks likely to land on Gov. Greg Gianforte’s desk soon. Also, a bill letting kids fight back against bullies in school passed second reading Tuesday, as did another requiring the Secretary of State to investigate whether people registering to vote are […]

Bill defining ‘sex’ in statute could impact LGBTQ marriage, legal documents, opponents say

By: - February 28, 2023

Angel Banks will be a non-binary person whether Senate Bill 458, which would define sex in statute as male and female, is codified into law or not. That’s what Banks said before a committee hearing on the bill on Monday. “I will be Angel the non-binary person when you force me into sex work because […]

Legal Note finds House Speaker’s abortion bill may be unconstitutional

By: - February 28, 2023

A legal note attached to an abortion bill sponsored by House Speaker Matt Regier, R-Kalispell, says it may raise a “constitutional conformity issue,” while a different bill resurrected the language from the “Born Alive” ballot issue which failed with Montana voters at the polls last fall.   Regier’s House Bill 721 would ban “dismemberment abortion,” defined […]

Bill banning vaccinated blood donations would ‘decimate’ blood supply, opponents say

By: - February 27, 2023

A bill to ban donors who have received the COVID-19 vaccination from giving blood will “decimate” blood supply in Montana and leave patients at risk of even death, said opponents of House Bill 645. “Montana’s blood supply could be cut by up to 80%, leading to adverse patient outcomes including unnecessary and unconscionable death,” said […]

Bill to limit abortion after 24 weeks, set felony penalty, gets first hearing

By: - February 23, 2023

Rep. Lola Sheldon-Galloway, R- Great Falls, is trying again to set time parameters around when a pregnancy can be terminated in Montana.  Sheldon-Galloway is sponsoring House Bill 575, that would define fetal viability at 24 weeks, with wiggle room to be considered earlier. At the hearing, a doctor noted less than 1% of abortions take […]

House forwards bill targeting drag shows along party lines

By: - February 23, 2023

Rep. Zooey Zephyr, D-Missoula, said she is tired of having to stand up for bills that impact her community. Zephyr, the first openly transgender woman elected to the Montana Legislature, gave an impassioned speech on the House floor in opposition to a bill that aims to ban minors from attending drag shows. “I clearly am […]