Montana News

2015 Legislature
4:48 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

Legislature Debates Another Bill Criminalizing Physician Assisted Suicide

Rep. Jerry Bennett (R) HD1
Credit Montana Legislature

One day after the Montana House voted down a bill that would criminalize doctor-assisted suicide, another bill was introduced with the same goal.

Libby Republican representative Jerry Bennett wants to change the current law against assisting a suicide, to allow doctors to be prosecuted.

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2015 Legislature
4:32 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

House Votes To Remove Restrictions On Concealed Carry

The Montana House Wednesday approved a bill to let anyone carry a concealed weapon if they’re legally eligible to own a handgun. Gun owners would no longer need to get a concealed-carry permit.

Republican representative Bill Harris of Winnett said mass shootings, like the one in a Colorado theater in 2012, might not happen if more people carried concealed weapons.

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Forest Management
6:36 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

Sen. Daines Holds Forest Management Roundtables To Find Ways To Boost Logging

Senator Steve Daines started his “Forest Management Reform Roundtables” at F.H. Stoltze lumber in Columbia Falls, MT.
Credit Eric Whitney

Tuesday in Columbia Falls, Senator Steve Daines kicked off a series of three meetings in western Montana that he’s calling “Forest Management Reform Roundtables.”

Around the table were executives from three timber mills, county commissioners from Sanders, Lincoln and Mineral counties, and Montana leaders of The Wilderness Society, The Nature Conservancy,  and the National Parks Conservation Organization.

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2015 Legislature
5:09 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

House Defeats Bill Criminalizing Physician-Assisted Suicide

Credit William Marcus

The Montana House narrowly defeated a bill that said doctors could face criminal charges for prescribing life-ending medications even if the patient made the request.

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2015 Legislature
4:48 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

Republican Medicaid Bill On Wednesday's Legislative Agenda

Credit William Marcus

Wednesday at the Montana legislature, the Republicans lay out the start of their own version of Medicaid expansion. Republican Representative Nancy Ballance is carrying House Bill 455, which would extend state insurance coverage to people with disabilities, low-income parents and veterans.

She says this would only include about 10,000 of the approximate 70,000 Montanans without insurance, because she says many of those people are “working-age adults with no kids and no disabilities.”

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2015 Legislature
4:33 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

Bill Would Force Police To Prove Confiscated Assets Were Used For Crime

Rep. Kelly McCarthy (D) HD49
Credit Montana Legislature

Today at the Montana Capitol, legislators joined the national conversation about civil asset forfeiture, or, put simply, police taking money and property before they charge someone. The bill’s sponsor, Democratic Representative Kelly McCarthy, is teaming up with Republican Representative Daniel Zolnikov to promote House Bill 463, which he says would force police to prove that the assets they confiscate were used in a crime.

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2015 Legislature
4:15 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

Bill Tightens Restrictions On Asset Forfeiture By Law Enforcement

Rep. Daniel Zolnikov (R) HD45
Credit Montana Legislature

Billings Republican Daniel Zolnikov claims police are abusing laws that let them seize property from suspected drug offenders. He claims police seized $10,000 in cash from an out of state motorist pulled over for expired plates. Zolnikov says police took the money even though the man was never charged with a crime.

“This, mister chairman and members of the committee, is what I would consider literal highway robbery,” Zolnikov testified.

He says he can’t name the citizen, or the agency involved, because the case is still being litigated.

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Secure Rural Schools Funding
3:53 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

Sen. Tester Backs Secure Rural Schools, PILT Funding Bill

Sen. Jon Tester

Democratic Senator Jon Tester has signed-on to a new bill that he says would bring badly-needed financial security to Montana's most rural and timber-dependent counties.

Senator Tester says the "Secure Rural Schools and Payment in Lieu of Taxes Repair Act" would annually reauthorize Montana's SRS payments for three years at $23 million, the level provided in 2011.

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2013 Opponent Now Bill's Sponsor
8:18 pm
Mon February 16, 2015

Dozens Testify At Flathead Water Compact's First Hearing

Some irrigators in the Mission Valley are suspicious of the Flathead Water Compact
Credit Eric Whitney

On the calendar it may have been Presidents Day, but for the Senate Judiciary Committee, Monday was no holiday.

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2015 Legislature
6:21 pm
Fri February 13, 2015

Flathead Water Compact On Monday's Legislative Agenda

Credit William Marcus

Monday, the Montana legislature will hear the bill to pass the Salish-Kootenai water compact, essentially mapping out water rights for the Flathead reservation and surrounding area. The bill’s sponsor is Republican Senator Chas Vincent of Libby, who was the compact’s opposition last session. He says, even amid death threats, he believes this year’s compact is better and absolutely necessary to ensure Montana keeps it’s water.

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