2017 MT Legislature

Legislature Passes Bill To Fund Capital Projects, Veterans’ Home

Apr 24, 2017

HELENA -- The House gave final approval Friday to amendments on a bill that would appropriate roughly $157 million for capital projects with state special revenue funds, grants and donations.

The Senate passed House Bill 5 last week, but amended it to allow authority money to fund three more projects, including a veterans’ home in Butte. Authority money is grants and donations the Legislature needs to approve for spending.

The bill will now go to Gov. Steve Bullock.

Montana's first-ever director of American Indian Health says she thinks state government lacks the commitment for her to do meaningful work, and is resigning.

Mary Lynn Billy-Old Coyote was appointed by Governor Steve Bullock in March of 2016. She submitted her resignation Saturday.

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A bill to increase the fuel tax continues to advance down the road as the Legislative session is moving closer to adjournment.

“And I find myself in the middle of Montana in the 65th Legislative Session in a very odd position where I feel the need to quote Mick Jagger,” said Representative Frank Garner, R-Kalispell. “And that is you don’t always get what you want.”

MSU Billings

Two Montana campuses will be allowed to have the public sample the wares from their brewing science and brewery operations programs, so long as the tasting rooms are off campus.

Flathead Valley Community College and Montana State University Billings are the two campuses with this program. But the Senate amended the bill to only recognize FVCC. Representative Don Jones, R-Billings, wanted MSU Billings to be recognized, as well.

Contentious Budget Bill One Vote From Passage At Montana Legislature

Apr 20, 2017

The state’s main budget bill is one vote away from going to the governor’s desk. Majorities in both the House and Senate have now agreed on it and some of its companion spending bills.

For the first time in recent memory, the state's main budget bill won't go to a joint House-Senate conference committee to hammer out any more deals. 

Jackie Yamanaka

The 65th Session of the Montana Legislature is winding down, but there are pieces yet to be put into place before lawmakers can adjourn.

Senate Majority Leader Fred Thomas, R-Stevensville, talks about the negotiations taking place with the Governor to bring this session to a close.

Jackie Yamanaka

A bill related to the pending closure of two coal fired power plants in Colstrip remains languishing in a House committee. A Representative failed to “blast” Senate Bill 338 to the floor for debate.

The bill sailed through the state Senate but was tabled in the House Energy, Technology and Federal Relations Committee after it failed to pass on an 8-8 vote.

Two Abortion Bills Remain In Montana Legislature

Apr 19, 2017

HELENA — There are two abortion bills still in play in the 2017 Montana Legislature.

Senate Bill 329, or the Montana Pain-Capable Unborn Child Act, would make it a felony for providers to perform abortions after about five months of pregnancy unless there’s a medical emergency. The bill needs one more vote to get to the governor’s desk.

MSU Billings

The microbrew craze is hitting some of the campuses in the Montana University System. Two campuses offer programs to teach brewing and a bill allowing campus’ to have an academic brewer license and to have a small sampling room, is making its way through Montana State Legislature.

The bill currently only includes Flathead Valley Community College after the state Senate amended the bill, striking Montana University System from the language and adding FVCC, because the Senate Business and Labor Committee didn’t know that Montana State University Billings already has a brew program.

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U.S. Senator Steve Daines recently returned from a trip to Asia, where he discussed trade, in particular—beef. Daines is hopeful China will soon resume U.S. beef imports the Republican announced during a press call with reporters.

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