Steve Bullock

Election Season Gets Underway With Candidate Filing

Jan 14, 2016
A handful of legislative and judicial candidates waited outside Secretary of State Linda McCulloch's office Thursday to be the first to register when she opened the doors at 8 a.m.
William Marcus

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The candidate filing period began Thursday, kicking off Montana's 2016 election season in which voters will decide whether to give Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock and Republican U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke new terms in office.

Many ranchers oppose more bison outside the park. They worry about the potential spread of the disease brucellosis.

“Yes Mr. Chairman, I would move that the EQC (Environmental Quality Council) send a letter to the Interagency Bison Management partners objecting to the decision that was signed by Governor Bullock."

That's Republican State Representative and Environmental Quality Council member Kerry White of Bozeman. White Thursday urged his fellow committee members to oppose a plan that would allow some wild bison from Yellowstone National Park to wander year-round outside park boundaries. White says it’s a recipe for trouble.

Wednesday, Montana’s Environmental Quality Council  spoke with legislators from the west coast states who are drafting bills that could shut down at least part of the coal plant in Colstrip.
Flicr user oatsy40 (CC-BY-2)

Washington and Oregon are considering cutting ties with Montana coal.

Wednesday, Montana’s Environmental Quality Council spoke with legislators from the West Coast states who are drafting bills that could shut down at least part of the coal plant in Colstrip.

"Campaign Beat", our weekly political analysis program is back to help you keep up to speed on the 2016 Montana elections.

Bison at the Stephens Creek Capture facility north of Yellowstone Park in 2015.
Jim Peaco (CC-BY-NC

Federal, state and tribal officials have agreed to kill as many as 600 to 900 Yellowstone National Park bison this year.

Steve Bullock Duane Ankney in Colstrip 1.5.16
Jackie Yamanaka, Yellowstone Public Radio

Environmentalists are expressing disappointment in the new Clean Power Plan Advisory Council that Governor Steve Bullock announced today.

The 27-member body includes 17 people either directly tied to the coal-fired energy sector or supportive of it.

Mike Cooney Is Montana's New Lieutenant Governor

Dec 30, 2015
Montana Governor's Office

Below is the press release from Governor Steve Bullock, we'll have more on this story this afternoon.

"Today Governor Steve Bullock appointed former Montana Secretary of State Mike Cooney as Montana’s Lieutenant Governor.

Yellowstone bison may get more room to roam after today's decision by Governor Steve Bullock.

Governor Steve Bullock today issued a decision that would allow wild bison from Yellowstone National Park to roam in portions of Montana north and west of the Park year round. The decision potentially breaks a longstanding impasse in a wildlife conflict that's dragged on for decades.

Yellowstone bison often leave the confines of the park in the winter for lower elevations in Montana.
Jim Peaco (CC-BY-2.0)

Governor Bullock's office issued a press release today announcing  "a very modest expansion of the conditions under which bison may remain outside of the Park." The press release goes on to say that "bison will be permitted to occupy suitable habitat in Montana outside of the park within manageable confines and subject to seasonal limits on numbers."

You can view the bison decision on the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks website. We'll have more on this story tonight.

In the ongoing debate over budget problems at the University of Montana, at least one faculty member has suggested that state government could be doing more to help the school. Late last month Biomedical and Pharmacy Professor Doug Coffin said Governor Steve Bullock placed too much emphasis on having a budget surplus and should instead send some of that money to higher education. MTPR News Director Eric Whitney asked Governor Bullock about that when he visited our studios Monday.