Chuck Hunter

2015 Legislature
4:42 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Lawmakers Say Much Work Remains As Legislature Reaches Half-Way Point

Credit Michael Wright - Community News Service

The Montana Legislature is at the half-way point of the scheduled 90-day session.

It’s more than just the numerical half-way point; it’s a key legislative deadline. All non-spending or non-tax bills had to meet the Day 45 deadline of being transmitted to the other chamber or they died.

Lawmakers will now have nearly a week off before they return to the Capitol to resume their work.

Yellowstone Public Radio’s Jackie Yamanaka talked to legislative leaders and the governor about the progress so far, and what lies ahead.

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2015 Legislature
5:59 pm
Tue February 10, 2015

Montana Republicans Unveil Healthcare Plan, Minus Medicaid Expansion

A conservative group of Republican lawmakers unveiled their plans to address healthcare in Montana that don’t involve Medicaid expansion. It’ s dubbed “Big Sky Health.” The package contains just over 20 bills.

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Legislative Roundup
6:27 pm
Sun January 11, 2015

Rules Debates Dominate The First Week Of The Montana Legislature

The Montana Legislature opened Jan. 5.
Credit Michael Wright - Community News Service

The 2015 Montana Legislature convened Jan. 5, and ceremonial and educational events welcomed the 150 lawmakers from all over the state to Helena.

During the swearing-in ceremonies, the leaders of each party said they hoped the parties would work together to better the state.

“I look around this room and see 50 individuals dedicated to making Montana a better place,” said new Senate President Debby Barrett, R-Dillon. Barrett is the first woman elected Senate president, and she spoke about increasing the power of the legislative branch.

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Legislative Rules Compromise
5:13 pm
Thu January 8, 2015

Legislative Compromise Gives Hope To Dems, Heartburn To Speaker

House Speaker Austin Knudsen (R), HD 34
Credit Montana Legislature

A compromise over the rules in the Montana House gives the minority Democrats a little more power, while preventing a lengthy and acrimonious floor debate.

Tuesday the House Rules committee labored for hours as Democrats brought up a long list of changes to give their pet projects a slightly better chance of passing, or at least not dying in committee. The minority threatened to do the same thing on the House floor Thursday afternoon, until both sides reached a last-minute deal.

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2015 Legislature Opens
5:04 pm
Mon January 5, 2015

Leaders Call For Bipartisanship On Legislature's Opening Day

Debby Barrett - R, Senate President.
Credit Courtesy Montana Legislature

This was opening day for the 64th session of the Montana Legislature. There was the usual pomp and circumstance, but there was also some real history being made.

Republican Debby Barrett of Dillon became the first woman to take the gavel as Senate president. She was selected by her Republican colleagues during caucuses back in November, but the full Senate made it official Monday on a unanimous voice vote.

Barrett suggested that the legislature has lost some of  its stature, and she aims to rectify that.

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Montana Legislature
6:30 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

State Lawmakers Elect Party Leaders

Republican Debby Barrett will serve as President of the Senate in the 2015 legislature.

State lawmakers chose their party leaders for the upcoming 2015 legislative session in Helena today.

Yellowstone Public Radio’s Jackie Yamanaka says they’re talking about working together to benefit Montana.
 

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Megaloads
5:44 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Lawmakers ask if Missoula can charge fees to megaload shipments

State lawmakers are asking what rights local governments have to charge fees to megaload shipments moving through Montana cities and towns.

These vehicles carry enormous pieces of equipment, blocking traffic as they haul their freight often to the tar sands of Canada or the Bakken oil patch.

The legislature’s Revenue and Transportation Interim committee inquired into the fees Tuesday.

Capitol Reporter Dan Boyce says the city of Missoula began charging them a few years ago. 

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