Jon Sesso

Jackie Yamanaka

Republican legislative leaders are skeptical that the Bullock Administration's revenue projections are correct. Because of that they told reporters during a conference call Wednesday it is premature to talk about a special legislative session to address the state budget.


Jackie Yamanaka

The Senate Minority Leader added an amendment to one of the infrastructure bills working its way through the process that seeks to keep alive construction of a Southwest Montana Veterans Home.


Jackie Yamanaka

Motorists will pay a little bit more at the pump under a bill that appears headed for the finish line. The additional money raised is earmarked to fix the state’s crumbling roads and bridges.

House Bill 473 sought to raise the tax on a gallon of gasoline by 8 cents a gallon, but an amendment lowered that to 4 ½ cents. 


(USDA NRCS)

Now that both the full House and Senate have had their a chance to work on the state’s main budget bill, attention is returning to what legislative leaders have said is the priority this session—infrastructure.

Jackie Yamanaka

House Democrats say they won’t support a new House Republican infrastructure proposal that would issue bonds to pay for rural water, wastewater, some road and school projects.

When it comes to infrastructure at the Montana Legislature even a simple matter over whether there were negotiations on the topic is up for dispute.


Jackie Yamanaka

Funding to fix ailing public works projects cleared the first legislative hurdle in the joint appropriations subcommittee on Long Range Planning.

The panel voted to approve House Bills 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11 and 14 with only minor changes.


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

There was a bit of déjà vu surrounding a bill that seeks to use coal tax money to pay for crumbling public works and state buildings.

“I think the bill is familiar to many of us,” said Dan Villa, Governor Steve Bullock’s budget director.

It’s a reference to the failed Senate Bill 353 from the 2015 session. SB 353, sponsored by Republican Senator Rick Ripley, used “create Build Montana program” in its title.