Capitol Connections

Wednesdays from 6:30-7:00PM During the Legislative Session

Veteran statehouse reporters Jackie Yamanaka and Chuck Johnson sit down with members of the 2017 Montana Legislature to talk about the issues lawmakers are working on, discuss why they are important, and the broader impact it will have on the state and region. 

Jackie Yamanaka

In this week’s, Capitol Connections – the topic is TVMT, the service provides statewide, televised coverage of the Montana Legislature and state government. Essentially it is Montana’s C-SPAN.

Over the weekend, the Helena Independent Record had a story with the headline: “Senate Passes Bill Allowing State Control of Legislative Coverage.”  It was in response to the final approval given to Senate Bill 40 last week in the Montana Senate.

Jackie Yamanaka

In this week’s, Capitol Connections the topic is the federal Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare. U.S. Senator Jon Tester said Monday in an address to the Montana House that repeal is imminent, but a replacement isn’t ready.

Jackie Yamanaka

State Attorney General Tim Fox has made investigating, enforcing and prosecuting crimes related to human trafficking a priority. In this week’s Capitol Connections, Fox talks about why this issue is important to him and the Montana Department of Justice.

In part two of the program, Senator Diane Sands, D-Missoula, provides an update on the work to update Montana’s sexual assault laws. In the 2015 session, Sands sponsored the bill to study sexual assault. She’s also a member of that Law and Justice Interim Committee that worked on a package of bills working their way through the 2017 session.

Jackie Yamanaka

Governor Steve Bullock and legislative leaders say Montana’s state budget will get more intense focus during the 65th Legislature than in recent years. Officials are coming to this session facing declining revenues from natural resource extraction and lower tax collections that aren’t sufficient to pay for existing government services.