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.

Voters struggle with absentee ballot issues in Cascade County

By: - April 21, 2023

Voters in Cascade County are struggling with absentee ballots that don’t fit in the return envelope, getting duplicate ballots or haven’t received a ballot yet. These issues add to the mounting concerns plaguing the Elections Office under Sandra Merchant, who started in January after narrowly ousting the former longtime Clerk and Recorder Rina Moore. Merchant […]

DPHHS issues rule change for Medicaid abortions effective May 1

By: - April 20, 2023

Abortion providers in Montana will be required to submit additional paperwork to the state for Medicaid-funded abortions starting May 1. That’s according to a new rule being instituted by the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services that was put out for public comment in December. Abortion providers will have to submit a request […]

Gov. Gianforte signs into law Chief Earl Old Person Memorial Highway

By: - April 19, 2023

Gov. Greg Gianforte approved the designation of the Chief Earl Old Person Memorial Highway by signing Senate Bill 120 into law on Tuesday. The governor signed the bill surrounded by Old Person’s family, members of the Blackfeet Nation and bill sponsor Sen. Susan Webber, D-Browning, according to a spokesperson Wednesday. “Chief Earl Old Person dedicated […]

Tester campaign responds to jungle primary bill heard in House committee Friday

By: - April 15, 2023

U.S. Sen. Jon Tester’s campaign responded following a hearing for a bill that would create a “jungle primary” in the state for the incumbent candidate’s 2024 primary race. “At a time when inflation and high costs are hurting Montana families, out of touch politicians in Helena are showing that they care more about power than […]

Youth Residential Program law advances in Senate with amendment on recorded calls

By: - April 14, 2023

A bill that would increase state regulations over private alternative youth residential programs advanced with a bipartisan vote on the Senate floor with an amendment ensuring calls between residents and parents are not recorded. House Bill 218, sponsored by Rep. Laura Smith, D-Helena, and carried in the Senate by Sen. Barry Usher, R-Billings, passed on […]

Drag show, story hour performers protest anti-LGBTQ legislation as bills advance

By: - April 13, 2023

Drag performer Butch took off their jacket to reveal a T-shirt reading “I am not a crime” during a drag show protest on the Montana Capitol building front steps. “Drag is art. Drag has been here forever,” said performer Ivita. “These bills are an attack on trans rights, and it is just another pathetic attempt […]

Anti-diversity training bill tabled in House committee

By: - April 12, 2023

A bill to ban requiring diversity and inclusion training for state employees was tabled in the House State Administration committee after a tie vote. Senate Bill 222, known as the “Montana Individual Freedom Act,” and based on the Florida “Stop WOKE Act,” was sponsored by Sen. Jeremy Trebas, R-Great Falls. The bill would have banned […]

Mobile home park bill sees opposition; grant for autism facilities discussed in Senate committee

By: - April 12, 2023

Rep. George Nikolakakos, R-Great Falls, said that a bill that would require mobile home park owners to give 60 days notice before taking action like increasing rent is “embarrassingly mild.” Not everyone in the Senate Business, Labor and Economic Affairs Committee agreed with Nikolakakos’ assessment on Wednesday. A handful of mobile home park owners from […]

The Montana state Capitol in Helena on the opening day of the 2023 legislative session on Jan. 2, 2023.

Abortion legislation, Gianforte’s adoption credit bill, advance in Senate

By: - April 11, 2023

Gov. Greg Gianforte’s proposed adoption tax credit passed the first hurdle on the Senate floor on Tuesday, along with two House abortion bills and a bill protecting against purported discrimination in the real estate industry. The adoption tax credit proposed in House Bill 225 would provide a $7,500 state income tax credit for parents who […]

Floor debates: Abortion, pronouns and election funding

By: - April 6, 2023

Sen. Edie McClafferty, D-Butte, said everyone’s heard of the phrase “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me.” “That saying is a bunch of baloney,” McClafferty said. “Because words do hurt, you guys.” McClafferty was speaking in opposition to a bill sponsored by Rep. Brandon Ler, R-Savage, to allow transgender […]

Residential youth program bill narrowly makes it out of Senate Committee

By: - April 6, 2023

A bill to increase state regulations over private alternative youth residential programs squeaked out of a Senate committee on Wednesday with a 5-4 vote. House Bill 218, sponsored by Rep. Laura Smith, D-Helena, was supported by socialite and entrepreneur Paris Hilton, who tweeted for the Senate Public Health, Welfare and Safety committee to support the […]

‘ICWA for All’ passes House Human Services committee

By: - April 5, 2023

A bill that would incorporate concepts from the federal Indian Child Welfare Act proposed by Sen. Dennis Lenz, R-Billings, received support from the Montana ACLU and the Blackfeet Tribe in committee Tuesday. Wednesday, the House Human Services Committee voted 18-3 on Senate Bill 328, sending the legislation to be debated on the House floor. Democrat […]