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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.

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U.S. House Candidates Greg Gianforte (L) and Rob Quist (R).
Corin Cates-Carney/Josh Burnham

About $12 million is fueling the special election between Democrat Rob Quist and Republican Greg Gianforte, according to latest campaign finance disclosures.

The money pouring into Montana’s sprint race to fill the state’s lone seat in the U.S. House now exceeds the total from the previous House race held in 2016. In that race just over $9 million was spent, according to reports from the Federal Election Commission.

Sally Mauk: Welcome to "Capitol Talk," our weekly political analysis program. I'm Sally Mauk And I'm joined by veteran capitol reporter Chuck Johnson and University of Montana political science professor Rob Saldin.

SM: And Rob two new polls show the House race between Greg Gianforte and Rob Quist is narrowing from double digits to within six to eight points with Gianforte still leading but is getting closer what's going on do you think?

Donald Trump Jr. returned to Montana on May 11 to rally supporters for U.S. House candidate Greg Gianforte in Butte, Montana.
Corin Cates-Carney

Donald Trump Jr., the head of the NRA, and Republican candidate Greg Gianforte rallied supporters in Butte, Thursday morning, two weeks before voting ends in the special election to decide Montana’s next lone representative in the U.S. House.

When the race started, Democrats saw the May 25 special election as an opportunity for a referendum against President Donald Trump. But Trump Jr. promised the crowd of about 170 supporters gathered outside a mining equipment and supply store just south of Butte’s uptown, that this would be a referendum of a different kind.

Bullock Vetoes 10 More Bills, Including Water-Well Measure

May 11, 2017
Montana Capitol.
William Marcus

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana Gov. Steve Bullock vetoed 10 more bills Thursday, including one that would have allowed residential subdivision developers to resume drilling multiple small water wells from the same water source without a permit.

Over 300 supporters line up in Hamilton before a Greg Gianforte, Donald Trump Jr. campaign rally April 21, 2017.
Rachel Cramer

Donald Trump Jr. will be making his second visit to Montana today, hitting the campaign trail with Greg Gianforte for a series of rallies across Montana. Gianforte is the Republican candidate vying for Montana’s U.S. House seat in the May 25 special election.

Greg Gianforte at his home in Bozeman in 2016
Eric Whitney

Yesterday I spoke with the Republican candidate for Montana's US House seat, Greg Gianforte.

ERIC WHITNEY: When we last talked to you about the House healthcare bill, last Thursday, that was the day the House passed the bill, at the time you told us you need a little more time to study it before you could say whether you would have voted for it. So, would you have voted for the House bill?

The Cut Bank voting center.
Corin Cates-Carney

Before Rob Quist became a politician, or toured the country in a bluegrass band, he lived in Cut Bank, a rural Hi-line town near where the Rocky Mountains meet the eastern plains.

The young Quist lived on a ranch just north of the town with his family. Back then, Cut Bank was one of Montana’s big-time oil producers, Quist was his high school’s student body president, and he helped the Cut Bank Wolves win a state basketball championship, leading the team in scoring in the title game.

(PD)

Healthcare has again moved toward the top of the agenda in Montana’s special election race for the state’s lone seat in the U.S. House. Whichever candidate wins the race, there’s no way they’ll be able to represent everyone in Montana on healthcare.

Montana Governor Vetoes Bills On Abortion, Concealed Weapons

May 9, 2017
Gov. Steve Bullock.
Freddy Monares - UM Legislative News Service

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Gov. Steve Bullock vetoed a proposal that would bar doctors from performing late-term abortions and another that sought to allow lawmakers to carry concealed weapons in the Capitol and other state property.

The vetoes were among the seven his office announced Tuesday as he continued to sift through a pile of bills sent to him by now-adjourned lawmakers.

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