Latest Government Reporting

Anti-single-family-zoning bill gets tepid reception

Rep. Danny Tenenbaum, D-Missoula, wants to force Montana cities to roll back zoning requirements in an effort to bring down home prices by encouraging more density. Opponents are skeptical that’s the right solution for housing woes in increasingly pricey cities.

House Bill 134 would ban single-family zoning designations in Montana cities in an effort to boost affordability by encouraging more duplex, triplex and fourplex housing.

Biden halts new oil and gas leases on federal lands

Climate action draws ire from Montana's Republican officials and industry associations, praise from conservation groups.

President Joe Biden on Wednesday signed an executive order placing a moratorium on the leasing of federal land and waters for oil and gas development, making good on a campaign promise to take significant action to address climate change.

Lawmakers make another push to ban ‘sanctuary cities’

Some opposed to the proposal said it reinforces racist stereotypes. Republicans pushed back, saying the bill is about ensuring that Montana cities and towns can’t protect criminals in the country illegally from deportation.

The House Judiciary Committee heard testimony on HB 200, which would require local jurisdictions to work with federal immigration agencies if a non-citizen is detained, potentially leading to that person’s deportation.


HB 113 narrowly fails final House vote

One day after House Bill 113 survived intense debate and a major vote on the House floor, the proposal failed to clear a procedural vote Tuesday after five Republicans reversed their stances, making the final vote count 49 in favor, 51 opposed. Advocates for transgender rights hailed the change as a significant win.

Raising teacher salaries

House Bill 143 would create financial incentives for school districts to increase the salaries of teachers in their first three years in the profession.

MTFP launches 2021 Montana Capitol Tracker

The 2021 Montana Capitol Tracker, a new digital guide from Montana Free Press, aims to help Montanans make sense of the business being conducted on their behalf during this year’s legislative session by presenting the quantifiable aspects of the Montana Legislature in an easy-to-use searchable interface.

The Session podcast

Week 4: Capitol reporters talk about bills aimed at affordable housing, voting, and teacher pay.

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Labor rallies against ‘consent’ bill

House Bill 168, sponsored by Rep. Bill Mercer, R-Billings. The measure would revise state labor laws to establish a consent agreement for public employees granting their employers permission to collect union-associated fees. That notification would have to be renewed annually.

‘Keep hope alive’

A slate of bills moving through the House and Senate would build on the work of the state’s Missing Indigenous Persons Task Force.


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