House committee passes campus ‘freedom of association’ bill

BY: - February 17, 2021

A House panel voted to approve legislation Wednesday that would prevent public university administrations and student governments from giving disparate treatment to student groups based on a group’s ideology, goals or bylaws, one of multiple bills moving through the Legislature this session addressing First Amendment rights on college campuses. The House Judiciary Committee passed the […]

Added COVID-19 testing on the way with $1.6B from the federal government

BY: - February 17, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is directing $1.6 billion to bolster COVID-19 testing nationally, including money to expand testing in schools and homeless shelters, boost supplies needed for testing, and analyze results to more quickly identify new strains of the virus. Roughly $650 million would go toward creating regional coordinating centers, which will partner with labs […]

15 Montana groups add their name to Haaland support letter

BY: - February 17, 2021

More than a dozen Montana organizations and groups have added their name to a letter started by The Wilderness Society which is urging the Senate to confirm former Rep. Deb Haaland of New Mexico to become the next Secretary of the Department of The Interior. Montana Sen. Steve Daines has said he will opposed Haaland’s […]

Schools across America walking tightrope between safety and COVID

BY: and - February 17, 2021

California mom Megan Bacigalupi has had enough. She wants her kindergartner and second grader back in their Oakland classrooms. But the coronavirus is spreading too quickly to open schools in Alameda County, based on the current state standards. And the local teachers union hasn’t agreed to go back — even after teachers have been vaccinated. […]

Media groups sue lawmakers for closed meetings

BY: - February 16, 2021

More than a dozen media organizations, including the Daily Montanan, have filed suit against Republicans in the legislature for meeting privately to determine the outcome of bills before they take action on them, which the lawsuit alleges is unconstitutional. The lawsuit, filed on Friday in Lewis and Clark County, alleges that an informal practice of […]

Bill promotes ‘school choice’ for special needs children

BY: - February 16, 2021

Avery Monroe, 7, takes medication for epilepsy, and the medicine has set her back in school. This week, Avery asked the House Education Committee to vote yes on a bill that would allow public money to go into a savings account that would reimburse parents for private education costs for students with special needs, such […]

American Prairie Reserve sends 39 bison to South Dakota

BY: - February 16, 2021

The American Prairie Reserve transferred 39 of its bison in a partnership with representatives from different Native nations in South Dakota. The Montana-based APR is a nonprofit that distributes bison to organizations starting new herds, and to enhance the genetic health of conservation and tribal herds around the country. This was the first transfer of […]

House allows for new version of failed bill to be heard

BY: - February 16, 2021

The House Rules Committee decided on a party-line vote Tuesday that a bill aiming to limit the type of medical care transgender youth can receive will be allowed to continue through the legislative process despite a nearly identical bill failing earlier in the session. House Minority leader Kim Abbott, D-Helena, objected to the first reading […]

Religious Freedom Restoration Act bill gets first hearing

BY: - February 16, 2021

Complications with Type 1 Diabetes have landed Quinn Leighton in the emergency room multiple times. And if a new bill is passed that would allow people and businesses to deny services for reasons of faith, Leighton worries about being denied life-saving care in an emergency if a medical provider claims it is against their religious […]

Bill that would reinstate Montana’s death penalty passes House vote

BY: - February 16, 2021

Montana is on track to resume capital punishment for the first time since 2015 after lawmakers in the House gave preliminary approval to legislation loosening requirements for lethal injections in the state. The House passed HB244 on second reading 56-44, the penultimate hurdle before the bill moves to the Senate. The proposal, carried by Rep. […]

Senate panel votes down minimum wage increase

BY: - February 16, 2021

A Senate panel Thursday tabled legislation that would gradually increase Montana’s minimum wage to $12 an hour, likely spelling an end to efforts to increase the wage this session. Lawmakers on the Senate Business, Labor and Economic affairs voted down a motion to send the bill to the floor, 5-6, with the committee’s chair, Sen. […]

Legislation to limit gender-affirming care to trans youth may reappear

BY: - February 15, 2021

Despite socially conservative legislation mostly flying through a GOP-controlled House, liberal opponents were able to twice squash an effort to bar doctors from providing gender-affirming care to transgender youth. But Manhattan Republican Rep. Jennifer Carlson is not giving up. On Monday, a bill drafted by Carlson similar to the failed House Bill 113, albeit less […]