Featured Articles in Montana Politics

Montana AG wants to disqualify Supreme Court from case involving itself

HELENA — In the escalating battle between leading Republicans and the Montana judiciary, Attorney General Austin Knudsen has asked that all seven justices of the Montana Supreme Court disqualify themselves from deciding the legality of legislative subpoenas seeking internal documents from the court. Knudsen, a Republican, filed the motion late Friday, saying the justices have Read More…

All in: Montana Politics

Montana AG wants to disqualify Supreme Court from case involving itself

HELENA — In the escalating battle between leading Republicans and the Montana judiciary, Attorney General Austin Knudsen has asked that all seven justices of the Montana Supreme Court disqualify themselves from deciding the legality of legislative subpoenas seeking internal documents from the court. Knudsen, a Republican, filed the motion late Friday, saying the justices have Read More…

Montana Lawmakers Advance One Judge Nomination, Reject Another

The Montana Senate has rejected one of Former-Gov. Steve Bullock’s district court judge appointees and advanced another. A third appointee is still awaiting consideration. Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee Friday voted to reject the appointment of Judge Michele Reinhart Levine, who’s been a judge in Cascade County since November, when Bullock, a Democrat, appointed Read More…

Bill in Montana Legislature would launch investigation against ‘environmental groups’

A day after some Republicans in the Montana House joined with Democrats to kill a controversial bill to allow NorthWestern Energy to purchase more power from Colstrip while cutting out the oversight of the Public Service Commission, Sen. Duane Ankney, R-Colstrip, introduced legislation that would allow the Attorney General’s Office to investigative “environmental groups.” Ankney Read More…

Lincoln Co. Lawmaker Seeks Review of Selenium Standard on Koocanusa

A Republican lawmaker from Northwest Montana has introduced a bill instructing the Montana Environmental Quality Council (EQC) to reanalyze the state’s newly adopted selenium standard, which was set to protect Lake Koocanusa and its fish species from Canadian mining contaminants. The measure by Rep. Steve Gunderson, R-Libby, comes less than a month after the corporate Read More…

MT Judiciary, GOP Legislators disagree during investigatory committee

HELENA, Mont. — The Legislature’s Special Select Committee on Judicial Transparency and Accountability met Monday afternoon to question Montana Supreme Court Justices and the Court Administrator. However, to some committee members’ disapproval, administrator Beth McLaughlin did not show. “I’m disappointed she has chosen not to appear today,” said committee chair State Sen. Greg Hertz, (R-Polson). READ Read More…

Montana’s judicial branch at center of power struggle

Power over Montana’s judicial branch is at the center of a debate over the constitutionality of a new law that gives the governor more options to fill midterm vacancies on the state bench. Senate Bill 140, which Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte signed into law last month, eliminated the Judicial Nominating Commission, an unelected body that greatly limited the governor’s nominating power by Read More…

MT Supreme Court quashes subpoena seeking internal judiciary e-mails

HELENA — In an escalating political battle between Republican leadership at the Montana Legislature and the state’s judiciary, the Montana Supreme Court Sunday quashed a subpoena lawmakers had used to obtain a cache of internal e-mails from the judiciary. In an unusual weekend order, the high court blocked any further release of the e-mails until Read More…

Montana bans sanctuary cities for illegal immigrants

Montana Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte signed legislation banning sanctuary cities throughout the state earlier this week. “We are a nation of laws, and immigration laws will be enforced in Montana,” Gianforte said in a statement,” the governor said in a statement. The legislation allows the state’s attorney general to pursue civil action against jurisdictions that refuse to comply with federal Read More…

Legislature asking Corrections for details on reform results

HELENA — More than three years into an overhaul of Montana’s criminal sentencing laws, the Legislature is preparing to ask the Corrections Department for extensive reporting on whether rehabilitation programs are working – including a rewritten definition of “recidivism.” “There was a fair amount of frustration that there really hasn’t been good progress made, to Read More…

Gianforte admin’s marijuana implementation bill introduced

HELENA — One of the most anticipated bills of the 2021 Legislature – the measure containing the Gianforte administration’s proposal to implement recreational marijuana in Montana – was introduced Monday morning. House Bill 701, sponsored by Rep. Mike Hopkins, R-Missoula, would make many changes to the 2020 initiative passed by voters last November, that legalized Read More…

Daines: Montana Taxpayers Should Not Foot the Bill for Liberal Agenda Disguised as COVID Relief

Republicans were in the majority in the Senate and President Trump was in office. As Republicans, we committed to working in a bipartisan manner to deliver needed relief to Montanans and all Americans struggling because of this historic pandemic. We thought President Biden was on board with this mission. He campaigned on a promise of Read More…

Montana AG, 11 others sue Biden administration over environmental order

(The Center Square) – Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen joined 11 other state attorneys general on Monday in filing a lawsuit in an attempt to block the Biden administration from unilaterally implementing parts of the so-called “Green New Deal” without Congressional approval.   The lawsuit challenges President Joe Biden’s executive order that seeks to impose Read More…

Montana governor says Biden ‘degraded’ himself with ‘Neanderthal’ comment about red-state governors

Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte said President Biden “degraded” himself, following comments he made comparing red-state governors to Neanderthal’s. Gianforte explained that hospitalizations are down and Montana is “open for business” during an appearance on “Fox & Friends,” asserting that a “one-size fits all” approach to coronavirus mandates “doesn’t make sense” for the needs of every state. “For a president that called for Read More…

Lawmakers Reject Local Broadband Utility Bill

Ahead of a Wednesday deadline, Montana lawmakers endorsed one bill and rejected another that aim to increase access to the internet. The House of Representatives reversed course on House Bill 422 Tuesday and voted it down after giving it an initial vote of wide approval earlier this week. The bill would have allowed local governments to operate Read More…

AG Knudsen Calls on Biden Administration to Protect Montana Families, Not Illegal Alien Sex Offenders

HELENA – Montana’s Attorney General Austin Knudsen today called on President Biden and his administration to reverse its last-minute cancellation of Operation Talon. Operation Talon is a nationwide ICE operation that focuses on removing illegally present convicted sex offenders from the United States. The cancellation of Operation Talon emboldens sexual predators who seek to enter the Read More…

US Rep. Rosendale talks about jobs, COVID, and goals

BILLINGS- In his first sit-down television interview since becoming Montana’s congressman, Republican Matt Rosendale spoke openly about the election, inauguration, insurrection, and a whole slew of other items facing Montanans. The freshman representative spoke with MTN News’ Andrea Lutz Friday at the Billings Public Library after spending the last several days touring areas of eastern Read More…

Bill expanding concealed carry of firearms in public places signed by Gov. Gianforte

HELENA – House Bill 102 was signed into law by Governor Greg Gianforte Thursday. The bill expands the concealed carry of firearms in public places including college campuses and drew opposition from a variety of Montanans, including the Montana University System. According to the Governor, 20 other states allow gun owners to carry firearms without a government-issued permit. READ Read More…

Bill would limit rental-application fees

HELENA — Bozeman state Sen. J.P. Pomnichowski says she began hearing last year from constituents being charged substantial fees just to apply to rent, or even view, an apartment or home in the city’s tight – and expensive – rental market. “I’m not opposed to the idea of collecting a fee to do something like Read More…

Bill that would nix Bozeman’s affordable housing policies receives support in House

A bill that would decimate Bozeman’s affordable housing ordinance received overwhelming support in the Montana House of Representatives on Monday.   House Bill 259 would prohibit local governments from requiring developers to pay a fee that would go to providing homes at specified prices or for people in specific income levels or from dedicating property for Read More…

One month in: Gov. Gianforte talks vaccine, economy in MTN exclusive

It’s been a whirlwind first month in office for Montana Governor Greg Gianforte. The Bozeman businessman inherited the Treasure State’s highest office in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the early stages of vaccine distribution. One of his first acts repealed pandemic-related capacity and curfew restrictions on businesses across Montana, and he said the state’s mask Read More…

Environmental law firm appeals decision on southwest Montana timber projects

An environmental law firm has appealed a federal district court judge’s decision to dismiss its lawsuit challenging three timber projects in southwest Montana.   John Meyer, attorney for the Cottonwood Environmental Law Center, filed an appeal with the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals last Friday over a district court judge’s decision not to block Read More…

MT delegation seeks reversal on Biden’s Keystone Pipeline cancellation

HELENA — The two Republican members of Montana’s congressional delegation have introduced bills to reverse President Biden’s decision to halt construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. And, the delegation’s only Democrat – U.S. Sen. Jon Tester – wrote a letter this week to the president, asking him to reconsider his order canceling Keystone’s cross-border permit. Read More…