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.

Gianforte bans TikTok on state devices citing data security concerns

By: - December 20, 2022

Gov. Greg Gianforte banned the app TikTok from being used on state devices, on state Wi-Fi or for government business in the state, according to a recent memo. Montana joined at least 13 other states in banning the video-sharing social media platform from government devices, according to reporting from the New York Times. Gianforte cited […]

Redistricting commission assigns holdover senators ahead of hearing Wednesday

By: - December 19, 2022

Redistricting commissioners voted unanimously Monday to assign 25 “holdover senators” to new districts following the passage of the tentative senate district pairings last week. The Montana Districting and Apportionment Commission assigned senators who were elected in 2022 and will serve the final two years of their four-year term in the district assigned by the commission. […]

Redistricting commission amends tentative map ahead of public hearing next week

By: - December 16, 2022

With the clock ticking to deliver a final legislative map to the legislature, redistricting commissioners made amendments Thursday to the tentatively approved House districts voted on in early December. The 100 House districts in the current map break down into 56 Republican districts, 35 Democrat ones, and competitive seats split five to four, Democrat and […]

Sheriff Slaughter commends Great Falls minister handling unhoused, remorseful over criticisms

By: - December 16, 2022

Cascade County Sheriff Jesse Slaughter expressed remorse this week over how he spoke about a Great Falls reverend during a radio interview in October when he criticized how the First United Methodist Church was handling unhoused people living on church property. “I stand by my comments about the situation — that it wasn’t being handled […]

Gianforte approves $309 million in federal funds for broadband expansion

By: - December 14, 2022

Gov. Greg Gianforte approved $309 million in federal funding for broadband expansion, saying Wednesday the projects will prioritize both unserved and underserved communities in Montana. The governor signed off on more than 60 projects that will allocate federal stimulus funds to programs throughout Montana that were finalized last week by the ARPA Communications Advisory Commission. […]

Biden signs marriage protection act while Montana’s Zephyr looks on

By: and - December 14, 2022

Montana Representative-elect Zooey Zephyr didn’t just make history by becoming the first openly transgender woman to be elected to the Montana Legislature, she watched history on Tuesday in the nation’s capitol. Zephyr, who won election from a district in Missoula, attended Tuesday’s “Respect For Marriage Act” bill signing in Washington D.C., by U.S. President Joe […]

Rep. Beard to fill vacancy in Senate District 40 following Gauthier resignation

By: - December 12, 2022

Rep. Becky Beard was selected to fill the vacancy left by Sen. Terry Gauthier in Senate District 40 by a joint board made up of commissioners from Lewis and Clark and Powell counties held Monday in Helena. Beard won five votes out of the six commissioners, according to Lewis and Clark County Commission Chairman Jim […]

Like cats and dogs: Legislative district divides discussed during public hearing

By: - December 10, 2022

“Do not force a wildcat and a bulldog to share the same cage, the results may not be pretty,” said Columbia Falls resident during a redistricting public hearing on Saturday. Legislators and community members spoke against the proposal to include Columbia Falls and Whitefish in the same house district during a public hearing hosted by […]

Lake County planning to withdraw law enforcement from Flathead Reservation

By: - December 9, 2022

Lake County Commissioners announced Friday they intend to initiate the process of withdrawing from a nearly 60 year-old agreement with the state over criminal jurisdiction over the Flathead Reservation. In both a release announcing the withdrawal and in a legal complaint filed against the state of Montana in the summer, Lake County says that the […]

Streamline permitting, prioritize infill and consider new methods to address Montana housing crisis

By: - December 8, 2022

Gov. Greg Gianforte’s Housing Task Force published a preliminary draft of its second set of recommendations aimed at regulatory changes for state and local governments, and heard public comment during a hearing Wednesday evening.  This round of recommendations looked at streamlining permitting processes, studying and prioritizing infill development to utilize existing infrastructure and investing in […]

Democrats align with aspects of Gianforte’s budget, push for more help for working families

By: - December 7, 2022

Leaders from the Montana Democratic party praised aspects of Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte’s budget, like the child tax credit and property tax relief, but said his plans don’t go far enough to offer long-term relief. House Minority Leader Kim Abbott of Helena said she was “thrilled” Gianforte incorporated a child tax credit into his budget, […]

Redistricting commission votes to put Democrats’ map out for public comment

By: - December 1, 2022

After four days of discussion and revision, Montana’s Redistricting commission voted along partisan lines — with the nonpartisan chair as the tie-breaking vote — in favor of a Democrat proposed legislative map. The map will be open for public comment and likely more changes. “This is a tentative map. I expect robust public comment on […]