Bill regulating transgender youth healthcare gets postponed with surprise motion

BY: - April 20, 2021

Senate lawmakers voted Tuesday to indefinitely postpone legislation that would prohibit transgender youth from receiving gender-affirming surgical care, a victory for LGBTQ+ advocates who have regularly come to the Capitol to lobby against bills they say restrict their access to healthcare and infringe on their rights. Sen. Bryce Bennett, D-Missoula, who has been an outspoken […]

Union leader: School choice bill risks $16M of recovery funds

BY: - April 20, 2021

The state of Montana risks losing $16 million of American Rescue Plan Act funds during the next four years if House Bill 279 becomes law, according to the Montana Federation of Public Employees. Amanda Curtis, president of the federation, offered that analysis during the most recent hearing on HB279, a “school choice” bill to raise […]

Georgia voting law pummeled at Senate hearing

BY: - April 20, 2021

WASHINGTON—Georgia’s new voting law was at the center of Tuesday’s U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, where senators discussed restoration of a key section in the Voting Rights Act that would prevent states, mostly in the South, from changing their election laws without federal approval. During the more than four-hour hearing, witnesses opposed to the sweeping new […]

Dems sue to stop changes to voter ID, Election Day registration

BY: and - April 20, 2021

Just a day after Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte signed two laws that would change how and when voters register, attorneys for the Montana Democratic Party have sued to stop them, saying they unfairly disenfranchise young voters, the elderly, Native Americans and the disabled even though not a single case of voter fraud has been documented […]

Proposed law would create abortion review committee for Medicaid

BY: - April 20, 2021

A first-of-its-kind abortion review committee for patients who get an abortion using Medicaid funds has been proposed by Rep. Matt Regier, R-Kalsipell. In a new amendment that was proposed after House Bill 686 cleared the state’s House of Representatives, Regier created what opponents are calling an “abortion court,” to review whether the state will pay […]

Haaland asks for funding to fight climate change, aid Native Americans

BY: - April 20, 2021

In her first congressional hearing as the leader of the Interior Department, Secretary Deb Haaland fielded questions from members of a U.S. House spending panel Tuesday on the major conservation and energy initiatives that President Joe Biden has outlined. She was noncommittal about some contentious and high-profile items of deep interest to Western states, like […]

Bill banning inclusionary zoning gets Gianforte signature

BY: - April 20, 2021

The cities of Bozeman and Whitefish will have to stop enforcing inclusionary zoning ordinances meant to increase the supply of affordable housing after Gov. Greg Gianforte signed legislation this week outlawing the practice. The Republican governor signed House Bill 259, sponsored by Rep. Sue Vinton, R-Billings, on Monday. The bill prevents municipalities from requiring that […]

Colstrip bill reminds many of energy deregulation ‘debacle’

BY: - April 20, 2021

It’s no wonder that people talk about the 1997 energy deregulation debacle in Montana in the same breath as Senate Bill 379. This bill landed later in the session, just like the one more than 20 year ago pushed by then-Sen. Fred Thomas of Stevensville. Like that bill, it comes with a hope that Montana […]

Seven judges, six lawmakers and SB140

BY: - April 19, 2021

All seven members of the Montana Supreme Court appeared via Zoom before a legislative panel on Monday out of apparent respect for a legislative subpoena — a rare move that seemed a surprise given that the court had previously ordered to temporarily disregard the same subpoena under which they appeared — but put up a […]

‘They hate trans people’: About two dozen people show up to protest passage of bill banning transgender athletes

BY: - April 19, 2021

Around two dozen people attended a student-led protest on the Capitol’s steps on Monday to urge lawmakers not to support House Bill 112, which would ban transgender women from participating on K-16 womens’ sports teams. Along with many similar bills across the country, Montana’s bill has sailed through the Legislature on Republican support as the […]

The oldest historic building in Yellowstone National Park (was never built)

BY: - April 19, 2021

Yellowstone is dotted with historic places.  But did you know that the oldest building that is still standing, built 140 years ago, was constructed because of a thermal spring? Every historic building in Yellowstone has a story to tell. You may be familiar with the impressive Old Faithful Inn or Fort Yellowstone’s tidy rows of red-roofed buildings. But […]

The shock and reality of catching COVID after being vaccinated

BY: - April 19, 2021

Robin Hauser, a pediatrician in Tampa, Florida, got covid in February. What separates her from the vast majority of the tens of millions of other Americans who have come down with the virus is this: She got sick seven weeks after her second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. “I was shocked,” said Hauser. “I thought: […]