Briefs

Rep. Doug Flament submits resignation citing health reasons

BY: - January 11, 2023

Rep. Doug Flament, R-Lewistown, submitted his resignation due to health reasons to the Secretary of State’s Office on  Tuesday, according to his resignation letter. “Unfortunately, I have received the diagnosis of a serious health issue that must be addressed immediately; I must leave the state to be treated,” Flament said in his letter. “Because of […]

The Montana state Capitol in Helena on Jan. 2, 2023.

Montana Office of the Public Defender aims to streamline representation for Indigent clients

BY: - January 9, 2023

The Office of the Public Defender will better serve citizens in times of crisis with House Bill 111, Rep. Jodee Etchart, R-Billings, said Monday. In a short hearing with no opponents, sponsor Etchart said the bill would eliminate unnecessary financial qualification procedures in a couple of cases where they aren’t necessary. Brian Smith with the […]

Knudsen cites housing prices in Helena for bill to increase legislator per diem

BY: - January 7, 2023

House Speaker Pro-Tempore Rhonda Knudsen cited Friday rising housing prices in Helena as reason to raise per diem rates an extra $39 for legislators’ lodging and meals. In a committee meeting, Knudsen said lawmakers were made aware during interim legislative council meetings that legislators coming into the 2023 session were experiencing difficulties obtaining housing. “While […]

East Helena man sentenced to 46 months in prison for Jan. 6 Capitol breach

BY: - January 6, 2023

One of two Montana brothers sentenced to 46 months in prison for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol mob.

Group of Republicans announce creation of Montana Freedom Caucus

BY: - January 5, 2023

A group of Montana Republicans announced this week they formed the Montana Freedom Caucus, which includes all four of the Republican members appointed to the newly created select committee on election integrity. The caucus is led by Sen. Theresa Manzella, R-Hamilton, while its vice chairman is Rep. Jerry Schillinger, R-Circle. Rep. Bob Phalen, R-Lindsay, and […]

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

After some debate, House rules pass

BY: - January 4, 2023

Representatives finalized their rules of order for the 68th Montana Legislature Wednesday after some debate and a handful of failed amendments. HR 1 passed, 57-42, cementing the rules that were heavily debated during Monday’s Rules Committee meeting. In order to “blast” tabled bills to the floor, they have to receive 55 votes, a slightly higher […]

Montana Consumer Counsel may freely testify, per rules change in committee

BY: - January 3, 2023

The Senate Rules Committee voted Tuesday to reinstate the Montana Consumer Counsel’s ability to freely give testimony to legislative committees. In a unanimous voice vote, committee members approved Sen. Steve Fitzpatrick’s request to withdraw his earlier amendment, which would have restricted the agency from testifying on bills without approval of the Legislative Consumer Committee. The […]

Gianforte urges Board of Regents to ban TikTok on university campuses

BY: - January 3, 2023

Gov. Greg Gianforte urged the Board of Regents to ban the social media app TikTok within the Montana University System citing security risks in a letter on Tuesday. This follows Gianforte’s memo to Chief Information Officer Kevin Gilbertson last month that the app would be banned from state devices, for state business, and while connected […]

A rendering of the plans for the Cooney Campus of Florence Crittenton Family Services.

Four Montana communities to receive $3.3M to renovate, build affordable housing

BY: - January 3, 2023

Four Montana communities will receive federal funding from the Montana Housing Division to preserve or build a total of 66 affordable homes for lower-income single mothers, seniors and families, the Department of Commerce announced Tuesday. About $3.3 million total will be allocated to the Colorado Apartments in Belgrade; Bigfork Senior Housing in Bigfork; Meadowlark Senior […]

Gianforte announces board appointments to handful of statewide commissions

BY: - January 3, 2023

Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte announced six appointments to various statewide boards and commissions on Tuesday. The Montana Code Annotated notes that officers who are not appointed by a method outlined in the state’s constitution or statutes must be appointed by the governor by and with the advice and consent of the senate. The following list […]

Montana House rules debate showcases Republican fissures

BY: - January 2, 2023

Rep. Jerry Schillinger said conservative Republicans should hold onto all the power voters gave them — not fritter it away by making it easier for moderate bills to be heard. “These motions are nothing but an attempt to neuter the voices of the people of Montana that have sent the conservative candidates to serve in […]

American Lung Association: Just 16 percent of Montanans smoke, but tobacco leading cause of death, disease

BY: - December 29, 2022

More than 16 percent of Montanans smoke, and tobacco is the leading cause of death and disease in the state, the American Lung Association said this week in a news release encouraging people to quit. The association also noted tobacco use has been declining in Montana for decades. “Each year, quitting smoking is listed as […]