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.

Abortion bills heard, including to require prior authorization for Medicaid patients

By: - February 22, 2023

Rep. Marilyn Marler, D-Missoula, said when she was walking in for a doctor’s appointment with her primary care physician at Blue Mountain Clinic in Missoula a few years ago, protesters got in her face, and she feared a physical altercation. “They got very close to me and expressed their opinions about what they thought I […]

Patient recovering after attack in Great Falls; Missoula rep said bill would help LGBTQ victims

By: - February 22, 2023

A Great Falls victim was still recovering from serious injuries after a man who yelled the person was “trans” drove his car into them at a bar on Friday, according to a court affidavit and the Cascade County Attorney’s Office. County Attorney Josh Racki said Wednesday he did not know if the victim was still […]

Montana takes another shot at passing an insulin co-pay cap bill

By: - February 21, 2023

Alison Sharkey-Hines said her son, who was born premature and died at two weeks old, might still be here if she had access to affordable insulin. After rationing her insulin, she said her son Kilian Riley Hines was born with underdeveloped lungs, and due to a rare disease, he did not have a gallbladder or […]

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

Rep. Etchart references Flathead Commission letter in opposing homeless grant funding bill 

By: - February 20, 2023

Rep. Jodee Etchart, R-Billings, referenced a letter released by the Flathead County Commission earlier this year that referenced homelessness as a “lifestyle choice for some” in explaining her opposition to providing grant funding towards supporting the unhoused.  During executive action on a bill that would provide $2 million in matching funds to nonprofits working towards […]

‘Twitter jail,’ Chinese spy balloons, forest management: D.C. delegation addresses legislature

By: - February 20, 2023

U.S. Senator Steve Daines pointed his thumb at a blown up photo of himself, his wife Cindy and a pronghorn antelope on a hunting trip last fall that got him placed in “Twitter jail.”  “What the San Francisco elite deemed — and I’m quoting this — ‘violent, and adult content.’ I consider this part of […]

Union workers fill Capitol halls rejecting ‘right-to-work’ legislation

By: - February 17, 2023

The first floor hallway of the Capitol was overflowing with union workers with signs reading “stop the war on workers” as legislators held a hearing on a bill that would impact union members’ ability to organize in Montana. More than 80 opponents testified against the legislation in the House Business and Labor committee Friday. Similar […]

Bill to fund law enforcement on CSKT reservation has more teeth in 2023

By: - February 16, 2023

Lake County is again asking the state, through the legislature, to pay what it says is the state’s obligation to oversee criminal jurisdiction on the Flathead Reservation. But Senate Bill 127 sponsor Sen. Greg Hertz, R-Polson, said this time is different. During the 2021 legislative session, legislators passed a bill outlining the state’s obligation as […]

House parties caucus before passing bills on gun non-discrimination and pronouns

By: - February 15, 2023

Rep. Zooey Zephyr, D-Missoula, the first openly transgender woman in the Montana legislature, said she has watched 50 members deftly dodge her pronouns. “But no one in this body has come up to me and said, ‘You’re a man,’” she said. “Because we would recognize that’s not right, that’s unkind, that’s out of decorum.” She […]

Bill codifying abortion rights in Montana state law gets first hearing

By: - February 14, 2023

Rep. Lee Deming, R-Laurel, asked bill sponsor Rep. Laurie Bishop, D-Livingston, a question during a hearing on her bill: “Are fetuses human beings?” The bill would codify the right to abortion in state law, and Bishop responded that defining fetuses wasn’t addressed, but was based on someone’s personal, religious conscience. Deming followed up: “Am I […]

Chair breaks with Democrats to pass a legislative map, completing redistricting process

By: - February 11, 2023

Redistricting Commission Chair Maylinn Smith broke with Democrats to pass Montana’s legislative map on Saturday, marking the end of over three years of work from the commission. Montana Districting and Apportionment Commission voted 3-2, with Republicans opposed, on a map to divide the state into 100 house districts, with 50 senate district pairings after accepting […]

Drag performers, LGBTQ advocates testify against bill targeting Drag Story Hours

By: - February 9, 2023

Anatheia Smith, a cisgendered woman who performs in drag as Diana Bourgeois, stood before the House Judiciary Committee in bright pink wig, pendant costume earrings and bedazzled sneakers. “No one wants to get up at zero-dark-30, put on 50 pounds of makeup and get into child-appropriate clothes, perform G-rated, but we do it because our […]

Attorney General Knudsen calls out Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase for ‘firearm discrimination’

By: - February 8, 2023

Attorney General Austin Knudsen called out JPMorgan Chase, Citibank and Wells Fargo as banks that were engaged in discrimination against the firearm industry. At a hearing Wednesday, Knudsen said that large financial institutions were increasingly denying services to an “extremely highly regulated industry” because they “happen to be engaged in the Second Amendment.” “Some of […]