Montana politics

Gay Marriage Appeal
5:12 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

9th Circuit To Hear Montana's Appeal Over Gay Marriage

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox’s appeal of the federal court order striking down the state’s gay marriage ban is due by February 27.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court Appeals will hear the case, and has already ruled similar bans are unconstitutional.

University of Montana Law Professor Anthony Johnstone says Wednesdays’ ruling striking down the gay marriage ban here won’t be final until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on the issue.

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Tracy Stone-Manning
4:40 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Gov. Names Tracy Stone-Manning Chief Of Staff

Governor Steve Bullock's longtime Chief of Staff is leaving and is being replaced by Tracy Stone-Manning, the current Director of the Montana Department of Environmental Quality.

Bullock's outgoing chief of staff, Tim Burton, is leaving to lead the Montana League of Cities and Towns; a nonprofit association of 129 Montana municipalities. Burton says Stone-Manning is an excellent choice.

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Gay Marriage
2:40 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Federal Judge Strikes Down Montana Same Sex Marriage Ban

A federal judge today struck down Montana’s ban on gay marriage. Attorney General Tim Fox says he’ll appeal.

Judge Brian Morris in Great Falls ruled that Montana’s law violates the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.

The law was challenged by four couples represented by the ACLU of Montana.

The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over Montana, in September ruled similar gay marriage bans in Idaho and Nevada unconstitutional. But conflicting decisions remain in other federal courts, and the U.S. Supreme court has not issued a final word.

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Montana Budget
3:47 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

Gov. Bullock Releases State Budget Plan

Gov. Steve Bullock outlines his proposed state budget, Mon, Nov. 17, flanked by Budget Director Dan Villa and Lieutenant Governor Angela McLean.
Credit Courtesy photo

Governor Steve Bullock released his two-year budget proposal during a Monday Morning news conference at the state capitol. Highlights include a spending increase of 5.5% this year and close to 3% next year, as well as $300 million in improvements to the state’s roads, sewers, and other infrastructure, and a $300 million surplus to take care of emergencies.

But the proposal that could produce the most contentious debate concerns Medicaid. 

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Competing Agendas
8:12 am
Mon November 17, 2014

Climate Change At The 2015 Montana Legislature

The 2015 Montana legislative session starts January 5.
Credit Eric Whitney

The start of the 2015 Legislative session is still seven weeks away, but a group of Democratic lawmakers, scientists, and activists is already working to frame a possible legislative debate on climate change. 

Among those who spoke at a climate change-focused news conference on Thursday was Dave Chadwick, Executive Director of the Montana Wildlife Federation. He says even without the EPA pressuring the state to cut its carbon emissions by 20 percent in 15 years, slowing or reversing climate change would still be a priority, to save the state’s hunting and fishing industry.

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Justice Mike Wheat
6:32 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Justice Wheat: Attack Ads Won't Impact Court Decisions

Montana Supreme Court Justice Mike Wheat
Credit Courtesy Mike Wheat

Montana Supreme Court Justice Mike Wheat says the partisan attack launched against him as he ran for re-election won’t impact his work on the state’s highest court.

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Montana Politics
3:48 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Tester Named Chair Of Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee

Credit Jon Tester

Montana Senator Jon Tester was named chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee today.

On his Twitter feed Tester said, “I’m accepting this position with the DSCC to recruit and support candidates who understand the issues facing regular, working Americans.”

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Interview
5:41 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

Tester Considers Leading Dems' 2016 Senate Campaign

Credit Jon Tester

Senator  Jon Tester talks about election losses and leading the Democratic party’s senate campaign in 2016 in this interview with Montana Public Radio News Director Eric Whitney.

Interview Highlights:

Election Results

"Folks weren't happy with Democrats and they made some changes," said Tester. "That's certainly what elections should be about. If things aren't going the way folks think they should be, there's accountability and we move forward and try to adjust."

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Campaign Beat
4:04 pm
Fri November 7, 2014

'Campaign Beat' Recaps The Election, Previews The Legislature

Lee newspapers Capitol Reporter Chuck Johnson, MTPR Senior News Analyst Sally Mauk and Lee newspapers Capitol Reporter Mike Dennison.
Credit Eliza Wiley

Do Montana Democrats have a messaging problem? Will post-election talk of bi-partisanship translate into action? Sally, Chuck and Mike talk about these things and more on the final election season episode of "Campaign Beat."

Former MTPR news director and now Senior News Analyst Sally Mauk hosts the program. She's  joined by Lee newspapers Capitol reporters Chuck Johnson and Mike Dennison.

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Election Night Coverage
12:41 am
Wed November 5, 2014

Montanans Vote To Keep Same-Day Voter Registration

Credit File Photo

Montanans rejected efforts to curb late voter registration Tuesday.

The legislative referendum, LR-126, would have ended the ability for people to register to vote as late as Election Day, which has been allowed in Montana since 2006.

With 78 percent of precincts in, the Associated Press reported that 56 percent had voted to keep same-day registration and 44 percent had voted to end it.

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