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2015 Legislature
5:14 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Flathead Water Compact Gets Resurrected After Successful 'Blast' Motion

Sen. Chas Vincent (R) SD1
Credit Montana Legislature

The  Flathead Water Compact working its way through the Montana Legislature was briefly killed today, but quickly brought back to life.

Because the massive water-rights agreement contains $8 million for canal system upgrades, the bill was routed to the Senate finance Committee. There, Dayton Republican Janna Taylor tried to amend it to add financial accountability.

The Sponsor Republican Chas Vincent, saw ulterior motives.

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Montana News
4:55 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Environmental Group Calls For Moratorium On Oil Shipments By Rail

Oil train passing through Essex, MT near Glacier National Park.
Credit Flickr User Roy Luck (CC-BY-2.0)

At least one environmental organization is calling for an immediate moratorium on crude oil shipments by rail.

That's following a recent analysis that says oil trains could potentially crash almost once a month nationwide.

MTPR's Edward O'Brien reports the group believes the risk to both human life and the environment is too great.

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Montana News
4:26 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Bill Allows Local Governments To Adopt Public Intoxication Laws

Credit Josh Burnham

The Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously voted to give local governments the ability to adopt and enforce a public intoxication law.

Supporters of the bill say the intent of the bill is to get help for people who have frequent contact with law enforcement or other first responders.

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Montana Newscasts
3:50 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Morning Newscast 02-24-15

Credit Josh Burnham

On this edition of Montana Morning Newscast, the Montana House Monday came within one vote of approving a bill to abolish the death penalty.

A Bozeman lawmaker wants to make big changes to the way the Montana Legislature does its work.

A Colorado man who pleaded guilty to killing a Montana teacher in an oil boom town will be sentenced this spring.

A former Youth Services counselor has pleaded guilty to two felony rape charges for having sex with a 17 year old girl under his supervision.

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MTPR Program Highlights
12:44 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

February 26 - March 4, 2015

Here are MTPR program highlights for February 26 – March 4, 2015

THURSDAY February 26, 2015

5:00-9:00 a.m.    Morning Edition from NPR, Montana Morning News, and Marketplace Morning Report

9:00 a.m.    A Writers Almanac - Historical literary calendar, commentary and poetry with host Garrison Keillor

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50th Anniversary Short Fiction Contest
6:20 am
Tue February 24, 2015

Short Fiction Contest: What The Cat Saw

Credit Tambako the Jaguar, https://www.flickr.com/photos/tambako

For our 50th Anniversary Short Fiction Contest, we asked you to send a 700-word, or less, story in which Montana Public Radio is mentioned in some way. We'll be accepting entries until March 15, 2015. Winners will be announced in April. This story is by Geoffrey Taylor.

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Gov. Bullock Opposed
7:38 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

GOP Income Tax Cut Moves Ahead

Kalispell Representative Kieth Regier
Credit Montana Legislature

The Republican majority at the Legislature is marching ahead with an income tax cut bill despite warnings from the Bullock administration the move is premature.

House Bill 166 was amended in the Senate. It now would lower all of the income tax brackets by two-tenths of a percentage point. The bill was re-referred to the Senate Finance and Claims Committee to consider the fiscal implications.

The sponsor, Representative Keith Regier says, while that’s an increase from his original one-tenth of a percentage point he supports the move.

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To Fund Infrastructure
7:10 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

Rep. Ripley Would Cap Coal Trust At $1Billion

Credit Flickr user wsilver

State lawmakers are considering a proposal to ask voters to cap the Constitutionally protected Coal Tax Trust at one-billion dollars. Senate Bill 353 would divert some of coal severance tax money that goes into the trust into an account to fund infrastructure projects. 

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Montana News
6:58 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

Sen. Brown: Reduce Road Salt

Credit MT Department of Transportation

On Tuesday, Montana lawmakers will hear a bill that would reduce the amount of salty road de-icers used on streets and roads. 

A 2010 United States Geological Survey  report found that winter runoff can push significant amounts of the de-icer into streams, increasing their toxicity for fish and other aquatic life.

Republican Senator Dee Brown of Hungry Horse is carrying Senate Bill 369 and says it’s necessary to keep Montana water clear.

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Tie Likely Means Defeat
6:43 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

Tie Vote On Death Penalty Bill

An attempt to abolish Montana's death penalty failed to win a majority of votes Monday.
Credit Photosforclass.com

The Montana House Monday came within one vote of approving a bill to abolish the death penalty.

Helena Democrat Jenny Eck read a letter signed by 55 relatives of murder victims, urging the state to do away with capital punishment

“We know that elected officials who promote the death penalty often do so with the best intentions of helping family members like us," Eck read. "We are writing to say that there are better ways to help us. The death penalty is a broken and costly system. Montana doesn’t need it and victims’ families like ours don’t want it."

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