On Sept. 1, seven Montana businesses sued Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen over an alleged software flaw that resulted in duplicate filing fees. But concern about the state’s online-only business filing system dates back to a debate in the 2019 Legislature.
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In testimony before lawmakers on the interim budget committee that oversees DPHHS, Director Adam Meier said the organizational changes are meant to increase efficiency and improve communications with external stakeholders.
Under the new rules, dispensaries will be able to promote their business via advertising and market their brand. However, dispensaries may not specifically advertise marijuana products except in online ads. The state has also eliminated what some dispensary owners believe was a burdensome set of rules that would have required dispensaries and other marijuana-related businesses to display a lengthy warning about the drug.
The governor’s office said Tuesday that Budget Director Kurt Alme is resigning to alleviate the strain of routine commuting to Helena from his home in Billings. His replacement will be longtime lawmaker Ryan Osmundson, R-Buffalo.
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Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen has joined a Tennessee lawsuit challenging federal anti-discrimination protections for transgender student athletes. It’s not the first time he’s signed on to support out-of-state litigation involving trans rights this summer.
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.
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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