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Montana Senate President Scott Sales and Governor Bullock reached an agreement on a list of nominees to replace Jonathan Motl as Commissioner of Political Practices.
Mike Albans

Governor, Senate President Reach Agreement On Political Practices Nominees

State lawmakers and Governor Bullock have ended a stalemate over nominees for Montana's next Commissioner of Political Practices . The handshake agreement was reached outside the public hearing process. Republican Senate President Scott Sales and Democrat Steve Bullock met in the governor's office a little before noon on Wednesday and reached an agreement on a list of nominees to replace Jonathan Motl as Commissioner of Political Practices.

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National Weather Service, Missoula, MT.
Josh Burnham

What's In Store For Western Montana After A Wet Winter?

"It was a pretty impressive winter," says Trent Smith from the National Weather Service. "Kalispell and Missoula had some of the coldest average mean temperatures since the late 1970's. And then we ... got a significant amount of snow over this winter. And now that we've transitioned here these past few weeks we're really looking at the flooding issues." Listen now as Smith recaps the weather highlights from this winter and gives a preview of what's in store for western Montana as we transition from winter to spring.

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MTPR Features

How tall can a tree grow?
(PD)

How Tall Can A Tree Grow?

Have you ever driven across Montana and noticed that the farther west you go, the bigger the trees get? In fact, if you kept on driving all the way to Seattle, you’d notice that the trees there are even bigger than those in western Montana.

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House Democrats say they won’t support a new House Republican infrastructure proposal that would issue bonds to pay for rural water, wastewater, some road and school projects.

When it comes to infrastructure at the Montana Legislature even a simple matter over whether there were negotiations on the topic is up for dispute.


Montana Senate President Scott Sales and Governor Bullock reached an agreement on a list of nominees to replace Jonathan Motl as Commissioner of Political Practices.
Mike Albans

State lawmakers and Governor Bullock have ended a stalemate over nominees for Montana's next Commissioner of Political Practices. The handshake agreement was reached outside the public hearing process.

Republican Senate President Scott Sales and Democrat Steve Bullock met in the governor's office a little before noon on Wednesday and reached an agreement on a list of nominees to replace Jonathan Motl as Commissioner of Political Practices.

Bill Would Raise Production Limits For Montana Breweries

11 hours ago

Nearly a dozen brewers testified at the Montana Legislature today on a bill that would raise a small brewery's production cap six fold.

Matt Leow with the Montana Brewers Association says raising the 10,000 barrel limit for small operations to 60,000 would unleash potential for Montana brewers.

Rob Quist, Democratic candidate for U.S. House speaks during a campaign rally in Missoula on March 22, 2017.
Josh Burnham

About 150 people came to a campaign event in Missoula today for U.S. House Candidate Rob Quist. The Democrat called it a "rally for public lands."

Quist addressed the crowd on a warm, sunny afternoon, wearing his usual cowboy hat:

A popular city park in Hamilton will stay where it is thanks to a special election this week.

Bitterroot Valley residents are notoriously skeptical of proposed bond issues. But Hamilton Police Chief Ryan Oster says local voters made an exception Tuesday to preserve Claudia Driscoll Park:

"Herd Bull," a bronze bison skull sculpture by artist Benji Daniels on display in front of the Montana Historical Society in Helena, MT.
Eric Whitney

Montana's Historical Society has been asking state lawmakers for help to build a new building for years. In the last legislative session it narrowly missed getting the okay to issue bonds for construction. Now, a Republican lawmaker is proposing it sell off parts of its collection to pay for a new museum.

As state lawmakers debate larger budget and infrastructure bills, Billings Representative Dennis Lenz is proposing letting the Historical Society sell art and other objects to generate up to $50 million for construction:

Greg Gianforte (L) and Rob Quist (R) are running for Congress in a special election to fill Ryan Zinke's seat.
MTPR News

Today news broke that the two major party candidates in Montana's special election for Congress have had tax liens filed against them in the past.

The Associated Press says that, "a group seeking to influence the May 25 special election" gave them information about liens against Democrat Rob Quist. The Democratic Party responded by providing information about Republican Greg Gianforte.

Bill Could Strip Worker’s Compensation For Failure To Disclose Medical Conditions

Mar 21, 2017
Montana Capitol dome, Helena.
William Marcus

Montana lawmakers heard a bill today that would add another aspect to worker’s compensation cases. Senate Bill 116 could strip employees of worker’s comp eligibility if they knowingly or willfully failed to disclose a medical condition pertinent to a job in any pre-employment questionnaires.

State Employees Seek Modest Pay Raise

Mar 21, 2017

The House Appropriations Committee is expected to vote this week on a bill that would give a one-percent pay raise for state employees.


The House Appropriations committee unanimously approved a bill to pay for some capital improvement projects for numerous state facilities.  The committee’s action came after several lawmakers criticized building projects at the University of Montana.

House Bill 5 includes a myriad of projects, including for several life/safety repairs and maintenance at state facilities. The committee approved an amendment to give the Montana University System the authority to spend money raised privately by some of the campuses.


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We are in the midst of a quiet revolution in school discipline.

In the past five years, 27 states have revised their laws with the intention of reducing suspensions and expulsions. And, more than 50 of America's largest school districts have also reformed their discipline policies — changes which collectively affect more than 6.35 million students.

A wave of refugees has been heading to Canada after first living for a time in the U.S. Canadian officials say more than 2,500 people crossed the border in January and February seeking asylum.

Mohammed Ahmed, a refugee from Pakistan, spent a year in New Jersey before he and his family walked across the border to Canada just north of Plattsburgh, N.Y. last month. He says he was afraid he would be detained and separated from his wife and two children.

In 2015, when researchers Ann Case and Angus Deaton discovered that death rates had been rising dramatically since 1999 among middle-aged white Americans, they weren't sure why people were dying younger, reversing decades of longer life expectancy.

Now the husband-and-wife economists say they have a better understanding of what's causing these "deaths of despair" by suicide, drugs and alcohol.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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