Featured Articles in Montana Politics

Sen. Daines introduces bill to thwart Big Tech’s influence on political speech, beliefs

U.S. Senator Steve Daines, R-Mont., on Wednesday introduced a bill to crack down on Big Tech and online platforms’ ability to “discriminate against users based on their political speech and beliefs.” The bill would enforce equal access to political candidates on online platforms as well as create a provision to prohibit the removal of content Read More…

Republicans ramp up pressure on Biden to pull nominee linked to eco-terrorist plot

Republican senators are ramping up pressure on President Biden to withdraw Tracy Stone-Manning’s nomination for Bureau of Land Management (BLM) director, citing her link to an eco-terrorist plot and her apparently misleading answers to senators about it. Every Republican on the Senate Energy Committee signed a letter Wednesday urging Biden to pull Stone-Manning’s nomination. “Ms. Stone-Manning has made false and misleading Read More…

All in: Montana Politics

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…

Billings representative selected for bigger role in national legislature group

A three-term Montana House representative from Billings has a bigger role in a nationwide legislative organization. The National Conference of State Legislatures selected Rep. Barry Usher, R-Billings, to serve on its executive committee. Every legislator is automatically part of the organization and Usher has been the vice-chair of the law and justice committee. He says Read More…

Legislation Targets Whitefish Affordable Housing Program

As the city of Whitefish continues to refine its nascent program requiring affordable workforce housing in the majority of new multifamily developments, a new legislative proposal would prohibit “inclusionary zoning” rules intended to assist working residents with moderate incomes. Under the Whitefish Legacy Homes Program adopted by city council in July 2019, new residential developments Read More…

Montana lawmakers look at more ways to kill wolves

HELENA, Mont. — By TOM KUGLIN Independent Record Two northwest Montana lawmakers are considering a number of bills that could moderately or significantly change the way Montana manages wolves.   Sen. Bob Brown and Rep. Paul Fielder, both Republicans from Thompson Falls, have drafted legislation ranging from including wolf licenses in big game combination licenses and Read More…

Rep. Rosendale announces support for term limits

HELENA, Mont. – Representative Matt Rosendale announced his support for two proposed amendments to the U.S. Constitution Thursday. The first amendment, H.J. Res. 12, would amend the Constitution to establish term limits for members of Congress. You can read the proposed amendment here. READ FULL STORY

Greg Gianforte

Governor Gianforte Makes Board Appointments

HELENA, Mont. – Governor Greg Gianforte today announced the following appointments. Board of Environmental Review Steven P. Ruffatto, Columbus. Qualification: Hydrology. Ruffatto has been an attorney at Crowley Fleck PLLP since 1976 and now practices in the firm’s Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources Department. Joseph T. Smith, Florence. Qualification: Government Planning. Smith serves as the Read More…

Montana Capitol not making major security changes after U.S. Capitol protests

HELENA — After pro-Trump protesters broke into the U.S. Capitol Wednesday, Montana leaders say they’re closely monitoring the national situation, but they’re not making major changes to security procedures at the State Capitol. Steve Baiamonte, administrator of Montana’s General Services Division, is director of security for the Capitol Complex, which includes all state buildings in Read More…