Briefs

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Red Tape Relief Task Force, which will be led by Lieutenant Governor Kristen Juras and will aim to “identify excessive, outdated, and unnecessary regulations,” according to an email […]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 […]