2017 Montana Legislature

National Park Service

Tourism opportunities can be better promoted in Indian country, said Senator Lea Whitford of Cut Bank.  Her Senate Bill 309 seeks to make sure Native voices are included on the Tourism Advisory Council and there’s money to help promote Indian Country because there is more to see than teepees and powwows.

Whitford said there’s also casinos, campgrounds, trails, fishing, heritage centers, museums, and art galleries.  


Legislative Services

This week our topics from the 2017 Montana Legislature are:  coal and prohibiting state courts from considering foreign laws.  

Guests:  Sen. Duane Ankney, R-Colstrip, and Sen. Keith Regier, R-Kalispell.


Jackie Yamanaka

U.S. Senator Steve Daines, R-MT, was greeted by supporters and protesters during his visit to the state Capitol.

Such stops to the Montana Legislature generally are routine for members of Montana’s Congressional Delegation. This year is different. Daines is among other federal lawmakers who’ve been besieged by constituents upset about the agenda promoted by President Trump and the Republican majority in Congress.


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YPR Regional News

Nail Chaput de Saintonge & Keith Graham

There is certainly power in numbers, but one single room is all you need for many elementary institutions across Montana. The Big Sky state has the most one-room schools in the nation.

Dan Rask, Executive Director of the Montana Small School Alliance, said one-room schools still exist in the 21st century because Montana has farm and ranch kids living far from town.

“I just don’t think it is in the cards to close those schools because they are too far to get to," Rask said.

“We have a law on the books that says you don’t transports students on a bus over one hour one way and that would pretty much why these schools have not closed," said Rask.

While state law makes them necessary, Rask says it's tightly knit community that makes them an enjoyable success.


Credit: Lori Iverson/USFWS

A Washington, D.C. resident was cited and fined $280 for disturbing approximately 1,500 wintering elk at the National Elk Refuge on Monday, Feb. 20.

According to a press release by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the drone operator launched his equipment from a pullout along North Highway 89 in Jackson, Wyoming.

Lori Iverson serves as the Outreach and Visitor Services coordinator for NER. She says that whether or not someone is flying a drone or walking too closely to wildlife, it can stress them to the point of impacting their overall survival.

"Winter is a really tough time of year, we need animals to conserve as much energy as they can and reduce those conflicts with humans," said Iverson.

(Flick Photo) (CC BY-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/A7uCC4

U.S. Senator Steve Daines, R-MT, held a Town Hall over the phone for 25,000 Montanans last night. 

According to a spokesperson, a telecommunication system dialed 200,000 subscribers at 6:15 p.m. yesterday evening.

The tele-Town Hall comes just days after about 3 dozen constituents confronted Daines at the Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport demanding to speak to him face-to-face. Daines declined at that time.

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NPR News

Bill To Establish Charter Schools Passes Montana House

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A bill that its sponsor says would provide additional educational opportunities by establishing a public charter schools act passed the House of Representatives on a vote of 55-44 on Monday.

Evening Newscast 02-27-17

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The U.S. Senate moved Congressman Ryan Zinke one step closer to becoming Secretary of Interior in President Trump’s administration. By a vote of 67 to 31 with one senator voting “present,” the Senate voted to invoke “cloture,” which means that debate on Zinke’s nomination will end in 30 hours. After that, the Senate is free to vote on Zinke’s nomination at its discretion.

The Montana House has voted down a proposal to allow guns in schools. 15 Republicans joined 41 Democrats today to reject the bill.

Fifty homes are still without water after a catastrophic burst to the City of Whitefish’s water main Monday morning. Parts of Baker Avenue south of downtown remain closed after crews dug up the street to isolate the leak.

Montana Lawmakers Enter Break With 50 Bills Signed

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There’s a break on the horizon for lawmakers in Helena, with about 50 bills signed into law so far, and over 500 still in the process.

Former lawmaker and now lobbyist Bob Gilbert of Sidney says after the transmittal break, which happens halfway through every 90-day session, he expects a good bit of concentration on money.

Over a dozen Montanans have now put their names forward as possible replacements for Ryan Zinke's seat in the U.S. House. Here's a list of candidates in the running:

The U.S. Senate moved Congressman Ryan Zinke one step closer to becoming secretary of interior in President Trump's administration.

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