Government & Politics

Judges from Great Falls, Helena have hearings but face uncertain future

BY: - March 24, 2021

Two sitting Montana judges had their confirmation hearings in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday morning. Each one had more than a dozen supporters speak in favor of them, including attorneys who had, at times, been adversaries in the courtroom. Not one opponent spoke against either Judge Michele Reinhart Levine of Cascade County […]

Sixth lawmaker tests positive for COVID-19

BY: - March 24, 2021

The Legislature’s COVID-19 panel announced this week that the sixth lawmaker this session has tested positive for the coronavirus, but did not release their name, per a request from the lawmaker. It’s the first time that a legislator who has tested positive for the virus has declined to release their name. Sen. Jason Ellsworth, R-Hamilton, […]

Montana flag uses ‘seal-on-a-bedsheet formula’

BY: - March 24, 2021

Montana is a diverse and majestic state, but you wouldn’t necessarily get that picture from the state flag, said Rep. Moffie Funk, a Helena Democrat. The design — a “so-called seal-on-a-bedsheet formula,” according to an art history professor — is similar to that of 15 other states with coats of arms or seals on a […]

Montana’s governor killed a Yellowstone wolf. But he now has a chance to set things right

BY: and - March 24, 2021

Gov. Greg Gianforte should have known better. According to news reports, the man Montanans elected just last November to lead their state and protect its vast natural resources trapped and shot an iconic black wolf 10 miles north of the boundary of the Yellowstone Park in February. And he allegedly did it without completing a state-mandated […]

Montana University System to get $1M for guns on campus

BY: - March 24, 2021

A million dollars looks headed to Montana University System coffers for the “full implementation of open and concealed firearms” on campuses — a shift from earlier debates in the legislature. Monday, representatives in the House voted 67-33 to approve an amendment allocating the one-time appropriation for items such as firearms training, metal detectors for events, […]

Boulder suspect bought assault weapon six days before shooting

BY: - March 23, 2021

BOULDER, Colorado — The suspect charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder following Monday’s mass shooting at a Boulder King Soopers had purchased an assault-style weapon just six days earlier, police said in an arrest affidavit Tuesday. “Using law enforcement databases, investigators determined that (the suspect) had purchased a Ruger AR-556 pistol on March 16, 2021,” […]

U.S. House panel divides on party lines about how to conserve public lands

BY: - March 23, 2021

In a preview of the arguments likely to be repeated as the Biden administration and Congress work toward conservation goals, Democrats on a U.S. House panel Tuesday outlined what they say is a need for aggressive action on climate. But Republicans worried increased federal involvement would be counterproductive to conservation goals while hurting rural economies. […]

Biden calls on Senate to act on background checks after mass shooting in Colorado

BY: - March 23, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Tuesday urged the U.S. Senate to immediately pass legislation to close loopholes on background checks for guns and to ban assault weapons, following a mass shooting that killed 10 at a Colorado supermarket. “This should not be a partisan issue,” Biden said. “This is an American issue.” Biden’s remarks […]

More than 250 MT businesses sign letter of opposition to LGBTQ bills

BY: - March 23, 2021

More than 250 companies and organizations doing business in Montana — including Chicago-based Molson Coors, which has contracts with state barley growers, and Missoula high-tech firm Submittable — signed a letter telling the Montana Legislature a slate of bills they say discriminate against LGBTQ people will harm their employees and their financial performance. “As businesses […]

Gianforte issued warning after trapping, killing wolf in February

BY: - March 23, 2021

Gov. Greg Gianforte was issued a written warning after he trapped and killed a wolf on Feb. 15 without taking a state-mandated educational course. The governor trapped and killed a six-year-old black wolf known as “1155” on a private ranch owned by Robert E. Smith, according to an article from Boise State Public Radio, which […]

Opponents: Ballot collection bill unconstitutional, costly

BY: - March 22, 2021

If you mess up when you drop off your friend’s ballot, you could be in hot water — and owe big money — if House Bill 406 becomes law. “If well-intentioned ballot deliverers make a mistake, they could be convicted of a criminal misdemeanor offense and incur a penalty of $500 for each wrongly delivered […]

Montana House passes $12.6 billion spending plan

BY: - March 22, 2021

The state House of Representatives on Monday gave preliminary approval to the state’s main budget bill, House Bill 2, following hours of debate and a series of ultimately failed amendments from Democrats to restore cuts to healthcare services that lawmakers originally made in subcommittees earlier in the session. The $12.6 billion spending plan, the product […]