Government & Politics

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 […]

COMMENTARY

Bullock: The humbling privilege of being a Montana governor

BY: - January 6, 2021

As any parent knows, time is more often measured by the milestones of our children than our own lives. When I first entered this office as Montana’s 24th governor, the sounds of young children laughing and playing rang through our household. While those sounds have since turned into silent eyerolls and embarrassment at my dad […]

Small media group challenges getting booted from covering rival’s sports events

BY: - January 6, 2021

BILLINGS—Sports rivalries run deep in any high school. Now, a court battle in central Montana may take it to a different level. Yellowstone County News and its sister radio station, KFHW, have been stymied from covering school sporting events at Roundup High School, a rival of several of the high schools in the newspaper and […]

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Tape Relief Task Force, which will be led by Lieutenant Governor Kristen Juras and will aim to “identify excessive, outdated, and unnecessary regulations,” according to an email […]

Rosendale joins with Daines to contest election results

BY: and - January 5, 2021

Rep. Matt Rosendale, Montana’s lone representative in the United States House, announced Tuesday that he will vote against the certification of the presidential election claiming there are widespread and credible allegations of fraud, despite the absence of evidence validating those claims. With his decision, Rosendale joined U.S. Sen. Steve Daines of Montana in voting against […]

Dozens of GOP lawmakers to reject certifying Biden as president

BY: and - January 5, 2021

WASHINGTON — The final step in a turmoil-filled 2020 presidential election is set for Wednesday, when Congress will certify election results showing that Joe Biden defeated President Donald Trump. But a series of objections from GOP legislators is expected to stretch that routine process into a much lengthier one — and one that is dividing […]

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 […]

Gianforte plans to rescind mask mandate

BY: - January 5, 2021

In his first press conference since being sworn in as governor of Montana, Greg Gianforte announced plans to rescind the statewide mask mandate put in place by former Democratic governor Steve Bullock. The governor focused his message Tuesday on increasing the availability of the vaccine for vulnerable populations and shifting the COVID response strategy from […]

Auditor denounces political prayer that invoked reseating Trump, prosecuting evil Deep State

BY: - January 5, 2021

What was supposed to be a simple prayer for wisdom and blessings, turned out to be a fiery political sermon at the swearing-in ceremony of State Auditor and Commissioner of Securities and Insurance Troy Downing. Downing’s office confirmed that neither he nor his staff had seen the prayer before the ceremony and did not know […]

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, […]

Sen. Jon Tester says ‘putting folks back to work’ is priority

BY: - January 5, 2021

After a year many would like to forget, U.S. Sen. Jon Tester is among those optimistic about 2021. Speaking from Washington, D.C., in mid-December, Montana’s senior senator in a one-on-one phone interview with the Daily Montanan discussed his hopes for how a closely divided Senate can work with President-elect Joe Biden.  He also talked about […]

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 […]