Category Archives: Legislature

Lawmakers hear testimony on bills that would fund $1.3 billion in infrastructure projects

By Caven Wade | UM Legislative News Service, University of Montana School of Journalism In the last 11 years, the city of Havre has had 255 water main breaks. The city’s public works director, Dave Pederson, says 46 of those breaks happened in the last two years alone. “During main breaks, large sections of the city are without water for a long

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Lawmakers looking at options to address Montana’s healthcare worker shortage

By Keely Larson | KHN-UM Legislative News Service Jenna Eisenhart spent nearly six years as a licensed therapist in Colorado before deciding to move to a place with a greater need for her services. She researched rural states facing a shortage of behavioral health providers and accepted a job as a lead clinical primary therapist at Shodair Children’s Hospital in Helena,

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Governor’s property tax package seen by lawmakers

By Caven Wade | UM Legislative News Service, University of Montana School of Journalism HELENA – One week before Gov. Greg Gianforte was scheduled to give his State of the State address to the Montana Legislature, a panel of lawmakers tabled and then revived one of the flagship bills in his tax package, which would spend a quarter of the state’s nearly

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Gianforte appoints new commissioner of political practices

Gov. Greg Gianforte appointed Chris Gallus on Jan. 19 to serve as the next commissioner of political practices. Gallus’ appointment fills the vacancy after Jeff Mangan resigned, effective Dec. 30, 2022. Gallus is a Butte native and graduate of Carroll College and the University of Montana School of Law, according to a release from Gianforte’s office. Gallus has practiced law

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Legislature looking to improve election security

By Elinor Smith | UM Legislative News Service, UM School of Journalism HELENA – The House State Administration Committee heard testimony Jan. 16 on a bill that supporters say would improve the security of Montana’s elections. House Bill 173 would require the manufacturer of vote counting machines to certify they are free of any external communication devices as well as assign felony

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Lawmakers considering rent caps

By Elinor Smith | UM Legislative News Service, UM School of Journalism HELENA — Lawmakers in Helena are considering a bill that would prohibit rent caps, or limits on how much landlords can charge for rent.  Senate Bill 105, sponsored by Sen. Steve Fitzpatrick, R-Great Falls, would make it illegal for local governments to interfere with rental prices on both private and

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City supporting campaign on local control

Mayor Bob Kelly told fellow commissioners during their Jan. 3 that he wanted the city to support an educational campaign on the importance of local government. Kelly said that the Montana League of Cities and Towns is creating an informational campaign about the importance of local control going into the new legislative session. He said the league is asking the

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Man charged in connection with Nov. 24 bounty hunter incident

Updated 2 p.m. Jan. 3 The Cascade County Attorney’s Office has charged a man in connection with the Nov. 24 bounty hunter incident in Great Falls. Scott Adam was charged with felony counts of assault with a weapon, reasonable apprehension; criminal endangerment; and misdemeanor counts of obstructing a peace officer; resisting arrest and failure to aid a peace officer. Adam

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GFPS sets budget development timeline

The Great Falls Public Schools board has set their timeline for the 2023-2024 budget process. Since this is a legislative year, school funding adjustments can’t be finalized until the end of the session, according to the district. The first student enrollment count was held Oct. 3. GFPS officials discuss school safety The first count is averaged with the second count

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Locals petitioning to send marijuana question to November county ballot

Locals are attempting to gather enough signatures to send the question of whether marijuana should be legal within Cascade County to the November ballot. Earlier this year, residents asked County Commissioners to send the question to the ballot, but based on advice from the county attorney’s office, determined that a citizen petition was necessary to do so. In late May,

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