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Bill Could Exempt Outdoor Seasonal Workers From Overtime, Minimum Wage

Feb 21, 2017

HELENA -- Montana lawmakers heard testimony on House Bill 496 Tuesday that would add seasonal outdoor recreation employees to a list of people who wouldn't necessarily be eligible for minimum wage or overtime pay.

Glacier National Park Entrance At St. Mary
Flicker user GlacierNPS (CC-BY-2.0)

The National Park Service learned yesterday that seasonal employees for the agency have been deemed exempt from a federal hiring freeze. 

Hundreds gathered at the Capitol steps Tuesday, Feb. 21, to voice their disagreement with Sen. Steve Daines. Daines is being accused by the protesters of not listening to the citizens of Montana.
Freddy Monares - UM Legislative News Service

Just before U.S. Senator Steve Daines was scheduled to give a speech in front of Montana lawmakers Tuesday afternoon, a crowd of protesters gathered on the Capitol steps.

The event was organized by a Facebook group called "Bring The Town Hall to Steve Daines".

Last week, both of Montana’s senators held virtual town-hall meetings to connect with constituents. Questions ranged from Trump’s pick for Secretary of Education, to the Affordable Care Act and Russia.

Legislature Debates Tax Increases For Wealthy Montanans
(PD)

A Democratic lawmaker from Bozeman is proposing a tax increase on the wealthy to make up for shortfalls in state budget.

Bozeman Democratic Representative Zach Brown
Montana legislature

The sponsor of a bill that would mandate limits on opioid prescriptions in Montana now says he’s willing to abandon that idea at the request of physicians in the state.

State Senator Scott Sales (R).
Michael Wright

Senate President Scott Sales withdrew his bid today for Congressman Ryan Zinke’s soon-to-be vacant seat.

Montana Lawmakers and state agency officials convened a 'meth summit' in Helena Saturday
Cal Reynolds

Montana’s ballooning meth epidemic is overwhelming state law enforcement, addiction treatment centers, and the criminal justice system.

That was the theme of the Montana Meth Summit - a bipartisan gathering of state lawmakers, agency officials, and members of the public held at the capitol on Saturday.

A Montana senator from Kalispell went before lawmakers today to ask for statewide restrictions on when women can have abortions. Republican Al Olszewski introduced his bill to ban late-term abortions this morning in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Bill Aims To Address Checkerboard Lands, Make Public Lands Accessible

Feb 20, 2017
A map showing checkerboard land ownership near August, MT.
Montana State Library

Hard to access public lands have become a hot topic lawmakers are trying to solve at the Montana legislature. Senate Bill 262 would allow complaints of closed roads to go through county commissioners to determine whether or not certain roads are being closed unlawfully. The bill aims to address the issue of checkerboard lands, which wedge public lands between private lands making them hard to get to.

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