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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.

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The Colstrip Power Plant consists of four separate coal-fired generating units, collectively owned by Puget Sound Energy, Talen Energy, Avista Corporation, PacifiCorp and NorthWestern Energy.
Beth Saboe

As state lawmakers debate bills designed to keep the strip mine and coal fired power plant at Colstrip open as long as possible, a social experimenter in Helena is convening an event aimed at the heart of the debate over whether fossil fuel-based economies should have a place in Montana’s Future. Tate Chamberlin has pulled together activists, politicians, and entrepreneurs to dive deep into thorny questions around coal, jobs, and climate change. I asked him what he has in mind.

Montana 'Bathroom Bill' Killed In Legislative Committee
(PD)

A Montana legislative panel has rejected a bill that called for a statewide vote on whether to bar transgender people from using bathrooms and locker rooms that don't match their gender at birth.

The House Judiciary Committee voted 11-7 against the bill today. It is likely dead, though it could be revived if enough votes flip in the committee or if a majority of representatives blast it to the House floor.

The Senate gave preliminary approval to a bill to continue to allow tribal members to hunt buffalo near Yellowstone National Park in accordance with the traditional ceremonies of each tribe.

There had been a sunset on the original legislation that granted 2 free state issued buffalo hunting permits per year to tribes. House Bill 108 seeks to continue the practice.


Reynermedia.com (CC-BY-2.0)

Montana Democrats are saying Republican U.S. House candidate Greg Gianforte’s former company ran into tax trouble with Indiana. Republicans say that may be true, but has absolutely nothing to do with Gianforte.

Accusations of financial chicanery are flying in Montana’s U.S. House race.

A proposal to increase tobacco taxes, which would also impose Montana's first ever tax on vapor and e-cigarettes got its first debate in the Senate Monday morning.
(PD)

A proposal to increase tobacco taxes, which would also impose Montana's first ever tax on vapor and e-cigarettes got its first debate in the Senate Monday morning. The bill introduced by Helena Democrat Mary Caferro calls for a $1.50 tax increase on a pack of cigarettes, and at least that much on standard cans of chew. It also proposes 24 percent tax increase on the wholesale price of all tobacco products, including cigarettes and snuff.

Rob Quist at a campaign stop at Caras Park in Missoula, March 22, 2017.
Josh Burnham

Democratic U.S. House candidate Rob Quist is traveling around Montana holding rallies where he emphasizes  his stand on protecting public lands. He's also been in the news for unpaid debts and tax liens on his property.

MTPR's Sally Mauk talks with the nominee about his positions on everything from gun rights to healthcare and what he thinks of President Trump.

Medical marijuana sign.
Flickr user Laurie Avocado (CC-BY-2)

A committee of Senate lawmakers approved a 2 percent tax on medical marijuana providers and rejected an increase to the state’s alcohol tax.

Since voters approved a statewide medical marijuana program in November, lawmakers in Helena have debated ways to fund it.

Bill Would Provide Option For Montanans To Comply With Federal Real ID Act

Mar 24, 2017

Montana is facing a deadline at the end of this year to comply with a 2005 federal mandate called the 'Real ID Act,' which requires states to meet minimum security standards for identification cards used to access federal facilities or get through airport security.

Montana Capitol.
William Marcus

The search for nominees to be Montana’s next top political cop ended this afternoon during a short meeting of legislative leaders.

The majority and minority leaders of the Montana House and Senate approved Jeff Mangan, a former Democratic legislator who owns a consulting firm in Great Falls, to join the Commissioner of Political Practices nominee list.

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