Briefs

Gianforte taps Kuhl to lead Department of Indian Affairs

BY: - January 7, 2021

Gov. Greg Gianforte announced in a news release Wednesday that Misty Kuhl will lead the Department of Indian of Affairs for his administration. “I am grateful for the opportunity to serve Montana and our Native nations, and am excited to build on Jason’s Smith’s work for the last eight years. I love our vibrant, resilient, […]

Tester condemns ‘attack on our democracy’

BY: - January 6, 2021

(U.S. Senate) – U.S. Senator Jon Tester denounced Wednesday the move by 12 other senators objecting to the Electoral College results. “I join my Republican and Democratic colleagues in condemning this despicable and dangerous attack on our democracy,” said Tester, a Democrat, in a statement. “The election is over — and the time for baseless […]

Legislative Dems announce 2021 policy goals

BY: - January 6, 2021

Montana Senate and House Democrats this week rolled out a series of policy goals for the 2021 legislative session, including a freeze on tuition for in-state students at Montana’s public colleges, protecting Medicaid expansion and more. Their policy objectives, grouped into four separate buckets, in some instances hew relatively closely to the GOP’s own policy […]

Montana Superintendent Arntzen announces federal relief for schools

BY: - January 6, 2021

Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen announced Wednesday that the U.S. Department of Education has confirmed Montana will receive around $170 million from the December 2020 congressional funding bill in the form of Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funds, or ESSER II. This new COVID-19 relief funding is four times more than the $41,295,230 […]

Montana releases new COVID-19 vaccine requirements

BY: - January 6, 2021

The new health requirements that will allow Montanans ages 16-69 with underlying conditions to receive expedited access to the COVID-19 vaccine have been released by the Department of Public Health & Human Services. Gov. Greg Gianforte announced his new vaccination plan Tuesday at his first press conference as governor where he also said he plans […]

Dems, GOP announce their 2021 legislative priorities

BY: - January 6, 2021

Political party leaders announced their priorities Monday at the start of the 2021 Montana Legislature. In the Republican majority, legislators elected Mark Blasdel, R-Kalispell, as President of the Senate, and they named Wylie Galt, R-Martinsdale, Speaker of the House. “Grocery store workers, law enforcement officers, our dedicated healthcare professionals, and so many other Montanans have […]

Gianforte signs first executive order

BY: - January 5, 2021

Governor Greg Gianforte has signed his first executive order Tuesday that will launch a review of regulations for every state agency. Executive Order No. 1-2021 establishes the Red Tape Relief Task Force, which will be led by Lieutenant Governor Kristen Juras and will aim to “identify excessive, outdated, and unnecessary regulations,” according to an email […]

Short-lived measure to require in-person testimony dies in Senate

BY: - January 5, 2021

Kalispell Republican Sen. Keith Regier’s short-lived decision to disallow virtual public testimony in his Senate Judiciary Committee gave way to a ruling from Senate committee chairs that all committees must allow the public to testify over platforms like Zoom.  Regier’s announcement this morning was met with immediate pushback from Democrats on the Judiciary Committee, who […]

Move to adopt 2017 legislative rules fails on opening day

BY: - January 5, 2021

Despite promises of unity, House Republicans began drawing internal lines within an hour of the commencement of this year’s legislative session. In the midst of a vote to temporarily adopt 2019 House rules — a set of prescriptions modeled after Senate rules — Rep. Mark Noland, R-Big Fork, made a substitute motion to instead implement 2017 rules, […]

Gianforte sets staff appointments

BY: - January 5, 2021

Gov. Greg Gianforte issued a preliminary list of senior staff members, their titles and salaries. Under Montana law, public officials’ salaries are public record. However, in an effort to be transparent, Gianforte released these voluntarily and ahead of his inauguration. Kurt Alme, budget director: $130,000 Charlie Brereton, health care policy advisor: $78,000 Sonny Capece, economic […]

Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen stands behind a podium and microphone with her mask in her hand just before taking her oath of office. To her right is a man and also Judge Mary Jane Knisely of Yellowstone County District Court in a mask. Another man in a masks stands to her left.

Arntzen is 1st GOP superintendent of public instruction to win 2nd term in nearly 30 years

BY: - January 5, 2021

Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen took her oath of office outdoors Monday in front of the Montana Capitol. “I am honored to continue the great work of putting Montana students and families first through my Montana initiatives of ‘Hope, Teach, Learn, and Ready,’” said Arntzen in a prepared statement she provided in advance of […]