MTPR

Greg Gianforte

State Senator Scott Sales (R).
Michael Wright

Senate President Scott Sales withdrew his bid today for Congressman Ryan Zinke’s soon-to-be vacant seat.

On this episode of "Capitol Talk": The Legislature debates a bill to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the state's anti-discrimination law; should teachers carry guns in schools; proposed university cuts and how they could raise tuition; the delay in Zinke's confirmation hearing; and a new poll shows Rob Quist and Amanda Curtis are the front-runners on the Democratic side to replace Zinke in Congress.

Montana lawmakers are considering a bill that would require the state Board of Regents to adopt a policy on accepting money or other gifts for the state’s colleges and universities.

Both the University of Montana and Montana State University have benefited from multi-million dollar gifts that resulted in naming rights.


The "Capitol Talk" panel recaps the State of the State, talks about the state of the budget, and notices that both Amanda Curtis and Greg Gianforte are trying to tie their congressional campaigns to Donald Trump. Can the enthusiasm on display at the women's march be translated into real action for change? Sally Mauk and Rob Saldin discuss the week in Montana politics on this episode of "Capitol Talk."

Montana Capitol, Helena.
Mike Albans

This week, Congressman Ryan Zinke had his confirmation hearing this past week to become the next Secretary of the Interior. Assuming that Zinke is confirmed, Gov. Bullock will soon call a special election to fill Zinke's Congressional seat. Republican Ken Miller is the latest new candidate for this position.

Part of this week's conversation also includes a proposed bill that would set up long-term financing for future infrastructure projects by using coal tax money, and several bills aiming to update Montana's sexual assault statutes.

Lastly, the hosts discuss the women's marches taking place across the country the day after Trump's inauguration and whether this is the start of a long-term movement.

Join Sally Mauk, Chuck Johnson, and Rob Saldin now for this episode of  "Capitol Talk."

Montana Capitol, Helena.
Mike Albans

State lawmakers consider big budget cuts this session, including $93 million in cuts for the Department of Health and Human Services. The Montana Legislature begins preparations for the possible repeal of the Affordable Care Act, and two familiar names are circulating for the special election to fill Ryan Zinke’s congressional seat — Gianforte and Baucus.

Join Sally Mauk, Chuck Johnson, and Rob Saldin now for this episode of  "Capitol Talk."

Former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer.
File photo (PD)

Montana Musician Rob Quist landed a significant endorsement in his bid to become the Democratic nominee to run for Congressman Ryan Zinke’s seat. Zinke is expected to give up that seat later this year if the Senate confirms him to be President-elect Trump’s Interior secretary. A special election will be held, likely in the spring.

State Senator Scott Sales (R).
Michael Wright

Three more Montana Republicans have announced their intent to replace Congressman Ryan Zinke, if he is confirmed as Secretary of the Interior next year.

State legislators Scott Sales of Bozeman and Daniel Zolnikov of Billings, along with Corvallis resident Gary Carlson, who publishes a conservative newsletter online, all say they are interested the job.

It’s been just over a day since news broke that Montana’s sole Congressional Representative Ryan Zinke may ascend to President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet. But Montana Republican and Democratic Party officials are already thinking about what comes next if Zinke accepts Trump’s nomination.

Rep. Ryan Zinke is rumored to be President-elect Trump's nominee for secretary of the Interior.
Eric Whitney

The news that Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke is apparently President-elect Trump’s nominee for secretary of the Interior is still reverberating across the country and in Montana. For perspective, we’re now joined by Rob Saldin, a political science professor at the University of Montana, and analyst for MTPR. I asked him for his initial impression of the news:

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