Montana News

2015 Legislature
6:43 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

Increased Penalties For Defrauding Elderly, Disabled On Monday's Legislative Agenda

Credit William Marcus

Monday, the Montana Legislature will see a bill to protect the elderly and those with developmental disabilities from scams.

Democratic Representative Moffie Funk of Helena is carrying House Bill 57, which would increase possible fines and jail time for offenses such as fraud and embezzlement.

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2015 Legislature
6:38 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

Senate Committe Kills LGBT Equality Bill On Party Line Vote

Sen. Christine Kaufmann (D) SD40
Credit Montana Legislature

Today, the Montana Legislature grappled with the topic of discrimination.

One bill, brought by Democratic Senator Christine Kaufmann was intended to end discrimination for members of Montana’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community. Opponents argued it infringed upon their freedom of religion.

 That bill died 7 to 5 along party lines with Republicans voting it down.

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2015 Legislature
6:25 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

'Sherrifs First' Bill Makes Another Appearance At The Montana Legislature

FBI agents and other federal officers would have to ask permission from a local sheriff before making an arrest or conducting a search, under a bill heard today in a House Committee.

Gary Marbut, with the Montana Shooting Sports Association, told the Judiciary Committee that while different police agencies usually get along, the “feds” sometimes run roughshod over local deputies, as they did in the 1996 raid that netted ‘Unabomber’ Ted Kazynski.

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Bighorn Sheep vs. Domestics
6:00 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

Bighorns And Domestic Sheep Are Incompatible, That Worries Sheep Producers

Credit Josh Burnham (CC-BY-2.0)

Regional sheep producers are concerned that fears about their herds transmitting disease to wild bighorn sheep might jeopardize their livelihood.

Last spring, the Forest Service banned domestic sheep grazing on about 70 percent of the Payette National Forest in West Central Idaho to prevent domestic sheep from infecting bighorns.

"We feel it's just a way for environmental groups to try to try and remove livestock from public grounds."

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Montana News
5:34 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

Lawmakers Consider Changing Same-Sex Marriage Law

Credit Josh Burnham

This morning the Montana Legislature hosted another round of the seemingly endless debate over legalizing same-sex marriage.

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Montana University System
5:27 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

MUS Officials Say They're Meeting Benchmarks Set By 2013 Legislature

Credit Josh Burnham

Montana University System officials told lawmakers they are meeting the benchmarks the 2013 Montana Legislature set toward increasing student retention and graduation.

Commissioner of Higher Education Clayton Christian says performance based funding is driving change at Montana’s colleges and universities.

"You know what it’s done is its creating focus for us," said Christian. "And that’s the good thing. We’re talking about things that will affect student success. That’s the bottom line of what it’s creating."

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Capitol Talk
5:06 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

Differences Over Role Of Government Color Debates At The Montana Legislature

Chuck Johnson, Sally Mauk & Mike Dennison

This week on Capitol talk, Sally, Chuck and Mike deconstruct the State of the State address and discuss how different philosophies on the role of government are affecting policy discussions at the Montana Legislature. From Medicaid expansion to bonding for infrastructure, to the debate over tax cuts vs. a surplus, these philosophical differences are behind many conflicts at the legislature.

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State of the State
6:04 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

State Of The State Highlights Division Between Parties In Helena

Credit William Marcus

In his State of the State address Wednesday, Governor Steve Bullock mentioned a number of issues dividing the Democrats and Republicans this session. Those include funding infrastructure, funding pre-K education, and keeping a budget surplus of $300 million in case of emergency.

Jim Keane of Butte is one of the many Democrats who stood and cheered as the Governor talked about his proposals.

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2015 Legislature
5:47 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Bill Addresses Appearance Of Impropriety Between Lawyers, Judges

Rep. Matthew Monforton (R) HD69
Credit Montana Legislature

This morning at the Montana Legislature, a bill came forward that would allow judges to be removed from cases if an attorney involved has contributed to the judge’s campaign.

Republican Representative Matthew Monforton says judges may not always be biased by contributions, but people need to trust that their lawyers or their opponent’s lawyers do not appear to have an advantage by contributing.

“It isn’t just that there is actual impropriety taking place. It is the appearance of impropriety.”

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Yellowstone River Oil Spill
5:33 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Warming Temps Complicate Yellowstone Oil Spill Cleanup

Human safety is the top priority as the oil spill recovery effort continues on the Yellowstone River.
Bridger Pipeline spokesman Bill Salvin says  temperatures are warming and that's making the river ice more unstable.

"So for every person that's standing on the ice, they have a person that's on an airboat holding the line they're connected to and that line's tied off to the boat as well. We want to make sure that we keep everyone who's responding to this safe. That's driving everything we do in terms of oil recovery on the ice."

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