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.

Legislature overrides veto on state agency ‘right-to-know’ bill

By: - June 5, 2023

At least one bill vetoed by Gov. Greg Gianforte will become law after a two-thirds majority vote by the legislature. House Bill 693, which surrounds agency compliance with public information disclosures, passed a veto override on Friday with 105 votes from both chambers. The joint rules state lawmakers can be polled if the governor vetoes […]

Election monitor files first reports with Great Falls Library mill levy election on Tuesday

By: - June 1, 2023

The court appointed election monitor for the Great Falls Public Library mill levy election filed four reports with the court since last week detailing ballot mishaps in the Cascade County Election Office. Voter Peter Russette received six absentee ballots, none of which were for residents at his address and did not include his own ballot, […]

Lawsuit: Cascade County Elections Office mishandled, must redo, two district elections

By: - May 30, 2023

Two districts in Cascade County want their elections voided and conducted again in what marks the second lawsuit related to the County Election Office’s handling of the May 2 election. The districts want the elections for their respective boards redone within 85 days, saying violations of election law likely affected the outcomes, according to a […]

Lake County still funding law enforcement on Flathead Reservation, despite bill veto

By: - May 26, 2023

Lake County Commissioners said in a letter Thursday that they will be honoring their commitment under Public Law 280 despite Gov. Greg Gianforte’s veto of a bill that would have reimbursed the county for the funds needed to do so. Public Law 280 is an agreement the state opted into decades ago for Lake County […]

School Board votes to certify election in Great Falls, but acknowledges ‘irregularities’

By: - May 26, 2023

The Great Falls Public School District Board of Trustees voted 4-3 this week to certify the election results from their May 2 election, a first election run by newly elected Clerk and Recorder Sandra Merchant riddled with problems that some say left voters disenfranchised. Two of the four “no” votes were from incumbent candidates who […]

Trans couple ‘rattled’ after harassment in Target, LGBTQ+ merchandise thrown on floor

By: - May 25, 2023

A transgender Missoula couple was told to “enjoy it while you can ” while shopping Thursday in the LGBTQ+ section in Target by a man who went on to throw merchandise from the section onto the floor. The man was later escorted by a Target employee out of the section, which includes clothing with rainbow colors, […]

Bill appropriating grant funds for autism centers in Montana signed into law

By: - May 24, 2023

The state is dedicating $400,000 in one-time grant funds for autism facilities to get off the ground in Montana, a move advocates said would help serve a community of people who have had to seek treatment in other states. Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte signed House Bill 952, sponsored by Rep. Courtenay Sprunger, R-Kalispell, into law […]

District court judge temporarily blocks Montana bills that restrict abortion

By: - May 23, 2023

In an order from the bench Tuesday, a district court judge temporarily blocked abortion bills recently signed into law regarding surgical abortion restrictions, ultrasound requirements and Medicaid abortion restrictions, as well as a similar rule on Medicaid abortions put in place by the state health department. Judge Mike Menahan said the focus of his decision […]

Drag ban, sex definition and MICWA bills signed into law

By: - May 23, 2023

Gov. Greg Gianforte recently signed into law a bill outlawing drag performances on public property, a bill defining sex as either “male” or “female” and a bill placing language from the federal Indian Child Welfare Act in state statute. House Bill 359, sponsored by Rep. Braxton Mitchell, R-Columbia Falls, bans drag performances on publicly owned […]

District court judge sides with library in appointing monitor for mill levy election

By: - May 18, 2023

A district court judge sided with the Great Falls Public Library Board in appointing an elections monitor for the upcoming mill levy election June 6. Judge Brenda Gilbert appointed the board’s choice for monitor, Lynn DeRoche, who worked in the Elections Office for more than 16 years under former Clerk and Recorder Rina Moore and […]

Private youth residential program oversight bill signed into law

By: - May 18, 2023

Private alternative youth residential programs will now have increased state oversight after a bill sponsored by Rep. Laura Smith, D-Helena, was signed into law by Gov. Greg Gianforte on Wednesday. House Bill 218 received bi-partisan support as well as an endorsement from socialite and entrepreneur Paris Hilton, who came to Montana to lobby lawmakers for […]

Gianforte vetoes mobile homes park bill, CPS reform, among other legislation

By: - May 17, 2023

Gov. Greg Gianforte vetoed a bill that would have given protections for mobile home park residents, like requiring park owners give 60 days notice before taking action like increasing rent. House Bill 889 is among more than a dozen other proposals to get rejected by the governor, including a bill for reforms to Child Protective […]