Kenneth Holmlund

Wildland Firefighters working on fire line on the West Fork Fish Creek Fire in 2015.

State lawmakers Monday took up a proposal by Governor Steve Bullock to increases fees on some property owners to fund fire protection in the state. It's part of the governor's package of legislation aimed at patching the $227 million hole in the state budget.

House Bill 4 proposes freeing up $13 million in the state's general fund by asking property tax payers to take on more of the cost for state firefighting preparedness. This bill would ask property owners in eastern Montana to pay fees that people in western parts of the state already pay.

The Montana House Wednesday approved a bill to let anyone carry a concealed weapon if they’re legally eligible to own a handgun. Gun owners would no longer need to get a concealed-carry permit.

Republican representative Bill Harris of Winnett said mass shootings, like the one in a Colorado theater in 2012, might not happen if more people carried concealed weapons.