Montana Free Press

Five To Follow: Week Of Feb. 25 At The Montana Legislature

Feb 27, 2019
Montana Free Press

The Montana Legislature is about to hit its hump day — on Saturday, March 2, the session is officially halfway through. Lawmakers will discuss a slew of hot-button issues in the week ahead, including sales tax, corporate media ownership, campaign mailers, surprise medical bills, and international trade wars. Here’s what to keep an eye on for Week 8.

Rule Hiding Bill Legal Notes Clears Montana House

Feb 7, 2019
Eliza Wiley/MTFP

A rule to keep the Montana Legislature website from publishing legal notes flagging potentially unconstitutional bills cleared the Montana House Feb. 5 after a vote to strip the language from a broader rules package failed on largely partisan lines.

Eric Dietrich / MTFP

Housing costs have risen across Montana in recent decades, to the point where residents are feeling the pinch between wages and their rent or mortgage payments, say economists with the Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research.

The unanswered question is: why?

Affordable Housing Advocates Look To Montana Legislature For Help

Jan 23, 2019
Colter Peterson/Bozeman Daily Chronicle

There are plenty of infrastructure priorities jockeying for scarce state dollars as the Montana Legislature meets this winter, but, with housing costs a burden for many modest-income Montanans, advocates and some lawmakers want to spend state money boosting affordable housing projects.

Moderates Emerge As Major Players In Montana Legislature

Jan 14, 2019
Shaylee Ragar/UM Community News Service

A loose-knit, ever-evolving group of Republican legislators is making waves and causing headaches in the 66th Montana Legislature.

They call themselves the “solutions caucus.”

It’s not a traditional caucus by any means: No barriers to entry, no specified leaders, nor a roster. Simply put, it’s a group of legislators who meet informally and talk about issues. They’ve branded themselves as independent, realistic thinkers in an environment that often feels deeply divided along party lines.

As Montana Legislators Begin Budget Work, Here’s What The Governor Wants To Spend

Jan 10, 2019
Eliza Wiley/Montana Free Press

First and foremost among the tasks facing Montana legislators as they open up the 2019 legislative session is producing a state budget — the set of bills that will ultimately direct how Montana’s state agencies spend billions in public money over the next two years.

Montana Free Press

A high profile political corruption trial is scheduled to proceed March 28, 2016 now that the Montana Supreme Court denied an appeal in the case.

Investigative Reporter John Adams of Montana Free Press has been covering the legal maneuvering in this case featuring state Representative Art Wittich, R-Bozeman, and Commissioner of Political Practices Jonathan Motl.