Rep. Putnam tests positive for COVID-19

BY: - February 8, 2021

Rep. Brian Putnam has tested positive for COVID-19, the Legislature announced this weekend. Putnam, R-Kalispell, began feeling symptoms of the virus on Thursday, got tested the next day and received his diagnosis on Sunday morning, said a statement from the House and Senate GOP. He attended virtually last Friday, and will continue to participate in […]

Bill ending same-day registration in Montana passes House

BY: - February 5, 2021

Legislation that would end Election-Day voter registration in Montana has passed out of the state House on a 64-34 vote. It now awaits action in the Senate. The bill, Rep. Sharon Greef’s House Bill 176, cuts off voter registration at noon the day before an election, something Greef, R-Florence, and other proponents say would help […]

Permitless concealed carry bill passes third, final reading in House

BY: - February 5, 2021

A bill that removes restrictions on people’s rights to carry firearms in Montana is heading to Gov. Greg Gianforte’s desk. House Bill 102, as amended, passed 68-30 on Friday in its third and final reading in the House. Two Democrats were absent; Rep. Derek Harvey, a Butte Democrat, voted to support the bill, and he […]

Fudge’s nomination as HUD head advances

BY: - February 4, 2021

WASHINGTON—The Senate Banking Committee on Thursday advanced to the full Senate the nomination of U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge of Ohio as secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The committee’s chair, Sen. Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat, said he’s confident that Fudge will work to address the housing crisis and prevent families from […]

House passes sanctuary city ban; bill will now move to the senate

BY: - February 3, 2021

A bill that would ban sanctuary cities in Montana passed its third vote on the house floor Wednesday and move onto the senate, where it is expected to pass. House Bill 200 would also would require local governments to share the immigration status with federal immigration agencies. Under the bill, cities and counties would have […]

Gianforte: 19,500 unused COVID-19 doses to be distributed in Montana

BY: - February 2, 2021

The federal government has approved the reallocation of 19,500 unused COVID-19 vaccine doses not used at long-term care facilities to Phase 1B recipients, Gov. Greg Gianforte announced in a press conference Tuesday. Phase 1B includes Montanans over the age of 70 and those 16-69 with a serious underlying medical condition. The doses — originally provided […]

Gianforte announces board appointments

BY: - February 2, 2021

Gov. Greg Gianforte announced Tuesday the following appointments: Board of Horseracing John Hayes, Great Falls. Hayes serves on the Board of Directors for the Great Falls Turf Club. He is also the director of the Cascade County Tavern Association. Jody Smith, Miles City. Smith, a lifelong resident of Montana, grew up on a cattle and […]

Bill to increase teacher pay passes House

BY: - February 1, 2021

A bill that aims to increase early-career teacher pay in Montana passed the Montana House 97-3 on Monday on second reading. Sponsored by Rep. Llew Jones, R-Conrad, and part of Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte’s proposed budget, House Bill 143 would help boost the salaries of rookie teachers with a formula that includes funding from both the […]

House Judiciary passes bill protecting police who don’t enforce health orders

BY: - February 1, 2021

The House Judiciary Committee on Monday passed one of multiple bills this session to hold sheriffs and other law enforcement officials harmless if they fail to enforce an order from a local health officer. The committee voted 16-3 to pass Sen. Steve Fitzpatrick’s SB67, which changes a part of code that would charge police that […]

Rapid testing comes to Capitol

BY: - January 28, 2021

Sen. Jason Ellsworth said Thursday as early as next week, lawmakers and staff will be able to take advantage of rapid COVID-19 tests at the Capitol. He anticipated the tests would be available twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays. However, he said people who are experiencing symptoms will still need to get a PCR […]

Gianforte-backed pay increase for state employees passes House

BY: - January 28, 2021

A bipartisan coalition of lawmakers in the Montana House approved a plan Thursday that would raise the pay of state employees by 55 cents per hour beginning in the 2023 fiscal year. The bill, the result of negotiations between former Gov. Steve Bullock, a Democrat, and public sector unions, would hold constant public employee pay […]

Gianforte announces board appointments

BY: - January 28, 2021

HELENA, Mont. – Gov. Greg Gianforte announced Thursday the following appointments in a news release: Montana Coal Board Hal Fuglevand, Miles City. Fuglevand is the former president of Oftedal Construction. He has more than 39 years of experience in projects associated with mine reclamation, railroad expansion and city/county infrastructure improvements. Catherine Laughner, Big Sky. Laughner […]