MTPR

Montana Politics & Legislature

Keep up with the latest Montana politics and Legislature news. Get updates on your radio during Morning and Evening Edition, or online any time.

Follow the news from the 2017 Montana Legislature, with coverage from MTPR Capitol Reporter Corin Cates-Carney; Sally Mauk and the "Capitol Talk" panel; Yellowstone Public Radio's Jackie Yamanaka; and reporters from the UM Legislative News Service, a partnership of the University of Montana School of Journalism, the Montana Broadcasters Association and the Greater Montana Foundation.

Lawmakers, reporters and other Montana Legislature accounts to follow on twitter: Montana Legislature twitter list.

Montana Politics & Legislature podcast

Ways to Connect

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 Standard Editor David McCumber, Butte
Mike Albans

David McCumber, the editor of the Montana Standard in Butte, discusses three bills that cumulatively could make it more dangerous to drive in the state. He also discusses what the EPA nomination of Scott Pruitt by President-elect Donald Trump could mean for Montana. 

Montana Capitol, Helena
Mike Albans

Today, a so-called Bill of Rights for kids in foster care and the parents that take care of them got its first hearing in the state legislature. Although guidelines outlining those rights already exist now, they’re just administrative policy and not a part of state law.

Local government officials said the state is unfairly shifting the cost of housing the state’s prisoners to their taxpayers.  They are asking lawmakers to restore the payments to the actual costs

The root of the problem, said Flathead County Sheriff Chuck Curry is the sheer number of state inmates.


Montana Capitol dome
William Marcus

Today, Montana Senators voted unanimously in support of a bill to change the state's legal definition of rape, removing the requirement of force for a perpetrator to be found guilty.

Familiar Infrastructure Ideas Return to 2017 Session

Jan 17, 2017

There was a bit of déjà vu surrounding a bill that seeks to use coal tax money to pay for crumbling public works and state buildings.

“I think the bill is familiar to many of us,” said Dan Villa, Governor Steve Bullock’s budget director.

Montana Capitol
William Marcus

A bill introduced Tuesday in the Montana House aims to protect consumers from so called ‘storm chasing’ contractors, who scam homeowners after a natural disaster.

CSPAN

Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke, who is President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for Secretary of Interior, had a four-hour confirmation hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee on Tuesday.

Colstrip power plant, Montana
Courtesy Montana AFI-CIO

Two bills introduced today in the Montana Legislature hope to bring some stability to the community and workers in Colstrip. Both were a result of bipartisan work done in the legislative interim, after plant owners settled a lawsuit with environmental groups, agreeing to shut down two of Colstrip’s four units by 2022.

Clarification and correction:  Jake Troyer of the Montana Department of Labor and Industry clarified the pilot audit as part of the HELP Act identified fraud instances in the Unemployment Insurance Program.

Montana identified over $830,000 in Medicaid payments that went out to people who don’t deserve the federal-state healthcare program aimed at helping the working poor.  

Montana’s Medicaid expansion program, known as the HELP Act, was passed by the 2015 Montana Legislature and signed into law. It contained a provision to tackle waste, fraud and abuse.


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