Guns bill advances to Senate floor

BY: - January 29, 2021

A bill to expand permitless carry in Montana is heading to the Senate floor — with a singsong “yes” vote from Sen. Theresa Manzella of Hamilton and great enthusiasm from Sen. Steve Hinebauch in committee. “I’m excited about this bill,” said Hinebauch, a Wibaux Republican. “I think it’s the best bill we’re going to vote […]

Montana Chamber backs student loan bill

BY: - January 28, 2021

The most common sign a business will post in Montana these days – besides “Masks Required” – is “Help Wanted.” “Recruiting and retaining workers is emerging as the No. 1 challenge for Montana businesses,” said the Montana Chamber of Commerce’s Bridger Mahlum, who made the comment this week about signs. Mahlum was among proponents of […]

Dems outraged at Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green to education panel

BY: - January 28, 2021

WASHINGTON — House Democrats are denouncing GOP leaders for tapping Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene to serve on the Education and Labor Committee, amid a growing outcry over the Georgia Republican’s past comments challenging the veracity of deadly school shootings. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called it “appalling” that Republicans selected someone who “has mocked the killing […]

Guns bill heads back to committee

BY: - January 27, 2021

A bill to expand permitless carry of guns in Montana will return from the Senate floor to the Judiciary Committee. The bill earlier passed the House, and Tuesday, it passed the Senate Judiciary Committee. However, a confusing executive session in committee left Democrats irritated at the product and process, and at least one Republican pledging to […]

Campus free speech bill returns to Montana legislature

BY: - January 27, 2021

Supporters of a bill that aims to protect free speech on public college campuses contradicted school administrators who said campus policies already do just that. In a lengthy opening argument, the bill’s sponsor, Mike Hopkins, R-Missoula, said current university policies allow campuses to silence groups by muzzling public speakers and establishing free speech zones. He […]

Bill limiting transgender athletic participation passes the house

BY: - January 27, 2021

House Bill 112, which would prohibit transgender women from participating on sports teams that align with their gender identity passed the house on a 61-38 vote Wednesday. Opponents of the bill have been vocal and argue it would be detrimental to trans folks — a group that already sees higher rates of suicide — mental […]

Opposition trounces support during testimony of union labor bill

BY: - January 22, 2021

Opponents of a labor bill argued Friday that it is an overstep by the government and would chip away at the strength of unions over time by not allowing them to bargain for non-dues paying members. “This is an MFPE killer,”said Amanda Curtis, president of the Montana Federation of Public Employees. “They’ve got both barrels […]

Sex ed ‘opt-in’ bill returning this session

BY: - January 22, 2021

A longtime Republican lawmaker has revived a legislative effort to require that parents provide written consent for their kids to receive any kind of instruction on human sexuality — a reversal from the current “opt-out” policies that districts in the state generally employ now.   The bill would require parental consent for any class material or […]

Bill penalizing doctors for providing medical care transgender youth moves out of committee

BY: and - January 22, 2021

The House Judiciary Committee voted 11-8 to pass a heavily amended bill Friday that would penalize doctors from providing gender-affirming medical care to transgender youth. House Bill 113 was originally scheduled to be voted on Thursday but was held up by the then pending amendment. The amendment expanded details on the kind of care doctors […]

Buttigieg puts greenhouse gas reduction at center of Biden transportation policy

BY: - January 22, 2021

Former South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg offered an unapologetic defense of President Joe Biden’s vision for improved transportation and greenhouse gas reductions during a Senate hearing to consider Buttigieg’s nomination for U.S. transportation secretary on Thursday. “We need to build our economy back, better than ever, and the Department of Transportation can play a central […]

Bills restricting trans athletes, abortion, advance

BY: and - January 21, 2021

The House Judiciary Committee on Thursday passed a series of bills restricting abortion and limiting transgender Montanans who wish to participate in interscholastic or college sports in a marathon session that began at 7 a.m. Four of the bills, HB 140, HB 136, HB 171 and HB 167, would require doctors to offer an ultrasound […]

Montana lawmaker: Bill could cost MSU, UM $4.5M each

BY: - January 20, 2021

A bill that would allow guns on campus could cost Montana State University and the University of Montana at least $4.5 million each – every year – said Sen. Diane Sands, a Missoula Democrat. “These are expensive costs when we have a university system that also struggles to be adequately supported in our state budget,” […]