Government & Politics

Legislative Fiscal Division

Montana’s cash cushion has grown smaller since the 2015 Legislative session largely because of declining revenue from natural resource extraction and lower tax collections.

That’s why lawmakers are summoning state agencies to see if they would make spending cuts in their current budgets to help Montana’s ailing “checkbook.”


Jackie Yamanaka

Governor Steve Bullock and the other statewide elected officials took their oaths of office and were sworn in during a ceremony that had to be moved inside to the Capitol Rotunda because of bitter cold temperatures.


Montana Legislature

A legislator from Billings is the latest candidate to announce he’ll seek the Democratic Party’s nomination for the U.S. House seat expected to open up when incumbent Ryan Zinke likely will become the next U.S. Interior Secretary.

State Representative Kelly McCarthy made the announcement last night in an email. He said he wanted to get the word out before the start of 2017 Montana Legislature on Monday.

When  US Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-MT, accepts the appointment as Interior Secretary in President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet and is confirmed, then the process begins to fill his House seat.

The open seat will ultimately filled by a special election. But there is disagreement between Montana statute and the US Constitution and the House of Representatives on some of the details.

Montana Expedites Medical Marijuana Initiative

Dec 8, 2016
(Flickr/Dank Depot) (CC BY-NC 2.0)

A Helena judge ruled that medical marijuana providers can accept more than three-patients immediately rather than waiting six more months for the initiative to take effect. 

The Montana Medical Marijuana Initiative approved in November was a victory for people like Katie Wetch, who endure chronic pain.


Jackie Yamanaka

Timothy Cavan is Montana’s newest U.S. Magistrate Judge. He was sworn in today and will serve in the Billings Division. 

Chief Judge Dana Christensen presided over the investiture ceremony before a standing room only crowd in the federal courtroom.


Jackie Yamanaka

Carolyn Ostby’s last day on the bench as a full-time U.S. Magistrate Judge is November 30, 2016. 

She retires after serving nearly 15 years. Her tenure concludes as Montana’s longest serving full-time magistrate judge and she’s the state’s first female federal judge.


Montana State University

Incumbency, name recognition, and likability appear to be factors in the outcome of yesterday’s general election, says Montana State University political scientist David Parker.

Donald Trump’s strong numbers in Montana did not translate into automatic votes for Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte. Unofficial returns from The Associated Press show Bullock won re-election by a 50-to-47% margin even as Trump beat Hillary Clinton in Montana by a 57-to-35% margin.

cliparts.co

Congressman Ryan Zinke, State Attorney General Tim Fox, and Secretary of State candidate Corey Stapleton were declared winners from yesterday’s balloting.The A-P declared incumbent Steve Bullock the winner at 8:25 a.m. but other statewide races were still too close to call. Bullock defeated Greg Gianforte, his Republican opponent, by a 50-47% margin.

Around 11 p.m. last night, incumbent Democrat Steve Bullock took the stage at the Great Northern Hotel in Helena to thank his supporters and said it was time to call it a night and tuck his kids into bed.

(Courtesy of Jackie Yamanaka, Yellowstone Public Radio)

Democrat challenger Denise Juneau is trailing Republican Incumbent Ryan Zinke 43% to 53% as election results continue to roll in. Montana Public Radio's Nicky Ouellet brings us this update.


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