How Austin Knudsen is flipping the script of attorney general

Montana Free Press interviewed more than a dozen former Department of Justice attorneys and legal observers. Some described Knudsen’s actions toward the judiciary as “breathtaking” and “embarrassing” for the legal profession. Others said the office’s tactics seem intentionally designed to undermine Montana’s democratic institutions. Knudsen says he’s doing what voters expect of him.

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The Session podcast

What we're watching in week 17 — Last-minute legislation and maneuvering.

What we’re looking forward to in week 17 of the Montana Legislature: last-minute legislation and maneuvering.

This week in Helena, April 19-23

A roundup of the week’s key action in the 67th Montana Legislature, from a voting rights lawsuit to financial reimbursements for wolf hunters.

A roundup of the week’s key action in the 67th Montana Legislature, from a voting rights lawsuit to financial reimbursements for wolf hunters.

Colstrip Sen. Duane Ankney revives part of NorthWestern Energy bill

An amendment added to a bill about water utility disputes resuscitates provision on rate recovery.

The Senate Natural Resources Committee voted Friday to revive part of a controversial bill that sought to guarantee regulated utility monopolies like NorthWestern Energy a rate of return on new coal-fired power by weakening the Public Service Commission’s oversight.

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FWP: New bison herds on hold

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks’ decision to settle a lawsuit brought by United Property Owners of Montana forecasts a major shift in the state’s bison management approach under Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte.

Political appointees bill voted down in Senate

Amendments scaling back a bill that would have boosted the number of political appointees in state agencies weren’t enough to get it past the finish line in the state Senate, where it failed a final vote Tuesday.

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MORE GOVERNMENT REPORTING

‘A highly unusual forum’

All seven Montana Supreme Court justices made virtual appearances Monday before a joint legislative committee investigating alleged bias in the judiciary, even as they maintained they weren’t necessarily subject to legislative subpoenas. The atypical exchange marked the latest development in a thorny power struggle between Montana’s legislative and judicial branches.

Gianforte approves changes to Montana election laws

Gov. Greg Gianforte has officially ended the state’s long-standing practice of allowing citizens to register to vote on Election Day, a change he said will help preserve the integrity of Montana’s elections, but that critics have decried as a blatant attack on voter rights.

The Session podcast

What we’re looking forward to in week 16 of the Montana Legislature: Separation of powers and the future of Colstrip.

This week in Helena, April 12-16

A roundup of the week’s key action in the 67th Montana Legislature, from regulatory takings to immunity passports.

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