Brad Johnson

A ballot shows the Republican candidates for the Montana Secretary of State primary election June 2, 2020.
Rachel Cramer/Yellowstone Public Radio

 

The Montana Secretary of State oversees elections and election laws, maintains records on legislation and business filings, and serves on the state Board of Land Commissioners, among other duties. Seven candidates are vying for the position in the primary election.

Official seal for the Montana Public Service Commission
Montana Public Service Commission / Montana Public Service Commission


The commission that regulates energy in Montana shot down a proposal on Apr. 7 to sponsor a forum that would have discussed climate change as a man-made phenomenon.

An "I Voted" sticker.
Montana Secretary of State


We now know what Montana’s primary ballots will look on June 2. Monday marked the final day for Montana candidates to file for office. 

Montana utility regulators say NorthWestern Energy must spend at least $3.2 million a year on removing trees near power lines. Regulators are worried that power company equipment could spark flames similar to the devastating wildfire in California last year that killed more than 80 people and destroyed the town of Paradise.

NorthWestern Energy logo
NorthWestern Energy


State utility regulators are nearing the end of a massive review of what Northwestern Energy charges its customers and what the company makes in profit. Several regulators this week are arguing over how the public was notified that they’ll likely see an increase in their electric bills.

As fire season starts to heat up in Montana, the threat of electrical power lines igniting dry forests is raising concerns. Power lines started the deadliest and most expensive fire in California history last November, the Camp Fire, which destroyed the town of Paradise and killed 85 people.

The threat of vegetation falling on Montana power lines has increased in recent years due to the rising number of beetle-killed trees.

The chair of Montana’s utility regulators violated state ethics during the 2016 election, according to a decision released today by Montana’s Commissioner of Political Practices.