Ellie Hill

William Marcus

The Montana House has reversed course, voting late this afternoon to close the Montana Developmental Center over the next two years.  The bill had been defeated yesterday, but was brought up again today with an amendment that gives families of MDC’s clients more input, as well as studying new uses for the Center’s campus in Boulder.

House Blocks Attempts To Revive Bullock's Medicaid Expansion Bill

Mar 10, 2015
Michael Wright - Community News Service

The Republican-controlled House officially killed the governor's Medicaid expansion proposal. That's because House Democrats failed to convince the Republican controlled chamber to reject the "do not pass" recommendation from the House Human Services Committee on the bill. That action came Friday night immediately after a nearly six-and-a-half hour-long hearing.

News Roundup: Week Five At The Montana Legislature

Feb 8, 2015
William Marcus

Juneau calls for early education, tax cuts pass, lawmakers consider drones on public lands and Fox supports bill to combat human trafficking.

In her address to a joint session of the Montana Legislature last week, Superintendent Denise Juneau praised Montana’s schools and called for more investment in them.

“We have a lot to be proud of in this state,” she said.

Juneau listed accomplishments like the highest graduation rates in the state’s history and growth in organizations like the Future Farmers of America.

Montana Legislature

The Montana House today approved a bill to screen everyone who applies for financial assistance for drug abuse.

The sponsor, Republican Randall Pinocci of Sun River, says the bill is not about punishing people.

Montana Legislature

Missoula representative Kimberly Dudik wants to do something about bullying in Montana Schools.

"Bullying is a big problem. There's been almost 3,000 Montana students that were suspended or expelled for bullying and harassment between 2012 and 2014."

Courtesy Montana Legislature

Montana lawmakers moved a step closer Wednesday to making sure that mentally ill people have somewhere to go before they’re discharged from the state hospital.

Missoula Democrat Ellie Boldman Hill thinks a homeless shelter is not the place to send a person who’s just been released from psychiatric treatment, but that’s what often happens in Montana.

“In 2014, 23 of those folks that were admitted to Warm Springs, Warm Springs discharged into our communities directly into homelessness,” according to Hill.

Bill Aims To Prohibit State Enforcement Of Federal Gun Laws

Jan 26, 2015
Montana Capitol
William Marcus

The Montana Legislature re-opens the debate over gun regulation on Tuesday. Republican Representative Art Wittich is sponsoring a bill that would prohibit state police from upholding federal laws that ban large ammo clips and semiautomatic weapons.

Montana House Approves Changes To State Parole Board

Jan 26, 2015
Courtesy Montana Legislature

The Montana House gave preliminary approval to two bills to revise the state Board of Probation and Parole.

These bills are among a handful of bills aimed at making the Parole board more accountable and transparent.

Flickr User Evil Erin (CC-BY-2.0)

The Montana House Friday approved a bill to ban teenagers from using commercial tanning beds without their parents’ permission. 

Among those speaking in favor was Bozeman Republican Matthew Monforton, who said he was making an exception to his usual stand against government regulation.

Governor's Infrastructure Bill On Tuesday's Legislative Agenda

Jan 12, 2015
Gov. Steve Bullock said he's "disappointed" by President Obama's Clean Power Plan.
Christopher B. Allen

Tuesday is the debut of the Governor’s proposed infrastructure bill. Worth over $400 million, this bill would provide funding over the next two years for roads and bridges across the state.

This comes after last session’s veto of a similar, but smaller, bill meant to help fund upkeep in the oil fields of eastern Montana.

Republican Representative Jeffrey Welborn of Dillon, Montana is backing the bill. However, he faces strong opposition from within his own party.

Courtesy Photo

A Montana state lawmaker says the Markus Kaarma trial is proof that Montana’s expanded Castle Doctrine needs to be repealed.

"It's a terrible idea that has tragic consequences where we see people shooting first and asking questions later with immunity," said Missoula Democrat Ellie Boldman-Hill.

Dear SCOTUS: Women Are People, Too

Jul 11, 2014

This week the Supreme Court ruled, again, that corporations are people – and essentially that women are not. In an impressive misuse of legal theory, a fundamental misunderstanding of science and anatomy, and a blatant disregard for the rights of women, the Supreme Court decided in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby that “closely held” for-profit corporations have religious rights and can use them to prevent employees from getting the health care they need.