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Greg Gianforte is the Republican candidate for the U.S. House seate vacated by Ryan Zinke.
Rowebotz (CC-BY-SA-4.0)

Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte took to the airwaves Tuesday morning to, in a way, reintroduce himself to Montana voters:

Montana Capitol, Helena.
William Marcus

A meeting to come up with a list of candidates to nominate the state’s next Commissioner of Political Practices was canceled  this week, after Montana’s top legislative leaders couldn’t come to agreement. The meeting originally scheduled for Monday afternoon was postponed indefinitely.

Bill Proposes Increase In Resort Taxes To Help Fund Affordable Housing
(PD)

Resort taxes in Montana could go up a bit under a new bill at the state legislature. Senate Bill 343 had its first hearing today. The bill’s sponsor argued resort towns need it to help fund more affordable housing for locals.

Dillon Republican Jeffrey Welborn’s bill would give resort communities the option of increasing the tax on luxury items and non-essential goods.

Mountain Water Company, Missoula, MT.
Cheri Trusler

A judge has ordered the former owner of Mountain Water Company to recalculate the attorney's fees it is seeking after losing a condemnation case and being forced to sell the water company to the City of Missoula.

Missoula Mayor John Engen:

"It reduces the overall cost of the city acquiring the system. We’re talking millions of dollars, yeah."

Rob Quist speaks during a campaign event in Whitefish, MT March 13, 2017.
Nicky Ouellet

Candidates for the upcoming special election to fill Montana’s lone house seat have hit the campaign trail. Democratic candidate Rob Quist held a campaign kickoff in Whitefish Monday night.

Casey’s Bar and Grill in downtown Whitefish is usually a weekend night club, but on Monday night, more than 100 people fill the dance floor to hear hometown candidate Quist at an event hosted by the Flathead Democratic Party.

Bill Would Reduce Taxes For MT Farmers, Ranchers, Business Owners

Mar 13, 2017
House Bill 558 would reduce the amount of property taxes agricultural landowners and commercial properties pay in the state.
PD

Supporters of a bill aimed at reducing property taxes in Montana say the agricultural industry needs help because of dropping commodity prices.

Voters in Clinton, Montana.
Rebekah Welch

A bill designed to save county governments half a million dollars or more is facing a time crunch in the state legislature. It would allow them to conduct mail-in only balloting. If it’s going to have any impact on how voters select the state’s next U.S. congressman, it must pass out of what one lawmaker is calling a kill committee.

Senate Kills Cyclist Bill: 'They Think They Own The Highway'

Mar 13, 2017
The MT Senate killed HB-267, which was intended to revise laws related to bicycles on roadways.
PD

The Montana Senate blocked a bill today that would have required vehicles going 35 miles per hour to give cyclists three feet when passing and five feet when going faster. House Bill 267 failed on a 24-26 vote. A motion by Majority Leader Fred Thomas, R-Stevensville to kill the bill indefinitely passed on a 29-21 vote.

The Republican controlled House Judiciary, on an 11-to-8 party line vote, passed a bill that would ban the application of foreign law in Montana courts. Senate Bill 97 now moves to the House floor for debate.


Missoula Mayor John Engen, Interim UM President Sheila Stearns, Missoula County Commissioner Jean Curtiss, and Missoulian Editor Kathy Best at a City Club meeting in Missoula March 13, 2017
Edward O'Brien

Missoula Mayor John Engen says District Judge Karen Townsend has again ruled in favor of the city in its effort to acquire the local municipal water company.

Engen says Townsend ruled the entities that fought the city’s use of eminent domain to acquire Mountain Water Company were overcharging for legal services and fees:

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