Matthew Monforton

The Montana Republican Party has sued the state to force closed primary elections in Montana.
Montana Republican Party

Both sides in the Montana Republican Party's lawsuit to close its primary elections appeared in Federal Court in Helena today. Judge Brian Morris presided over a motion hearing. The actual trial, if there is one, will happen later. But it provided a preview of arguments both sides might use at trial.

Contribution Limits Back In Court Ahead Of 2016 Elections

Nov 10, 2015

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A constitutional challenge to Montana's campaign contribution limits is back in court with the potential to affect the 2016 primary elections after the same case disrupted the 2012 governor's race weeks before Election Day.

The Montana Republican Party has sued the state to force closed primary elections in Montana.
Montana Republican Party

This weekend, the Montana Republican party will choose its leader, and chart the course for its future. Delegates from all over the state are meeting today and tomorrow in Helena for their annual convention.

Chuck Johnson, Sally Mauk and Mike Dennison
Eliza Wiley

This week on "Capitol Talk": The Flathead water compact and "dark money" disclosure bills are on their way to the Governor's desk. Work remains on the state budget, the pay plan, and infrastructure funding bill. Will the legislature adjourn early? Sally, Chuck, and Mike bring you up to speed on this week at the legislature.

Flickr user Brad Smith (CC-BY-NC-2.0)

The contentious Flathead Reservation water compact appears to be taking the same convoluted path to the House floor as the Medicaid expansion bill did last week.

Rep. Matthew Monforton
Montana Legislature

The Montana House Thursday approved a measure to ask voters if they want to define “personhood” from the moment of conception – a move that could outlaw abortion and even some birth-control methods. However, the constitutional amendment is still unlikely to appear on a state ballot.

Montana Republicans Divided Over Open Primaries

Mar 18, 2015
Michael Wright - UM Community News Service

Rep. Steve Fitzpatrick, the tall, bespectacled Republican from Great Falls, stood up on the House floor in late February and explained his bill that would allow local political party officers to be appointed by the state party instead of elected in primary elections.

But the bill was about something bigger, Montana’s century-old open primary law.

“It’s really a fundamental question with this bill,” Fitzpatrick said. “Do you believe in open primaries or do you believe in closed primaries?”

Montana Legislators Debate Constitutional Convention For Balanced Budget Amendment

Feb 13, 2015
Rep. Matthew Monforton
Montana Legislature

Montana legislators disagree on whether to call for another Constitutional Convention, and it’s not along party lines. Republican Representative Matthew Monforton is proposing Montana join a growing number of states, now at 24, to meet to change the United States Constitution to require Congress to balance their budget.

Democratic Missoula Representatives Nate McConnell and Andrew Person are part of the committee that passed this resolution to the House floor. Though they generally agree, on this vote, they didn’t.

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.

Legislators Hear Resolution Supporting Balanced Budget Amendment To U.S. Constitution

Feb 3, 2015

Today, Montana legislators heard a resolution that would add Montana to a list of 24 other states wanting to amend the U.S. Constitution to require Congress to pass a balanced budget.

Proponents say Montana’s constitution requires a balanced state budget, and the national debt of over $18 trillion is too much.

Opponents like Robert Brown, one of many John Birch Society members who came, say this would open a door for Congress to take advantage of the system.

“Congress has historically decided that they have tremendous power over the convention process.”