Latest Politics Reporting

Electric City’s political pivot

A former Democratic stronghold in Montana — Great Falls — has gone Republican. What happened?

Each time Democrat Jon Tester won his hard-fought U.S. Senate races in Montana, he celebrated the victory at election-night parties in Great Falls, the working-class city on the banks of the Missouri River. But as Tester goes for a fourth consecutive Senate win in 2024, the city that’s been his political backyard and a once-Democratic…

Recreational marijuana tax bill headed to Gov. Gianforte’s desk

Bill seeking to split weed tax collections between rural roads, wildlife habitat, veteran services and addiction treatment clears its final legislative hurdle.

After passing its final Senate vote 49-1, Senate Bill 442 will land on Gov. Greg Gianforte’s desk. Montana lawmakers have supported the measure with broad margins, but how Gianforte will receive the marijuana tax-allocation bill remains to be seen.

Where to allocate weed tax revenues?

Legislature weighs competing measures for how to spend $50 million of recreational marijuana tax revenues.

Two proposals with competing visions for the tens of millions in taxes that Montana collects annually on the sale of recreational marijuana are still making their way through the Legislature as lawmakers work to set a two-year state budget.


Which party controlled Montana politics, year by year?

A couple of years back, longtime Montana reporter Chuck Johnson shared with MTFP a spreadsheet he’d compiled detailing which political party had controlled the Montana House, Senate and governorship year-by-year over the course of the state’s history. Chuck being Chuck, it included figures stretching back nearly to statehood in 1889, painstakingly tallied and color-coded.

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Lawmakers deadlock on political practices commissioner

A panel of four lawmakers failed to reach consensus last week on which of five applicants for commissioner of political practices to forward to Gov. Greg Gianforte. Now, all five automatically advance.

Committee probing judiciary adopts amended final report

The Republican-led select committee formed late last session to probe the state’s judiciary voted to adopt an amended version of its final report to the Legislature. The 4-2 party-line vote came after the chair of the Select Committee on Judicial Accountability and Transparency, Sen. Greg Hertz, R-Polson, eliminated language in the report accusing Montana Supreme…

HD 80 hopeful questions whether reservation votes should count

A legislative aide with aspirations of representing House District 80 in the 2023 Legislature questioned in public remarks Tuesday whether members of tribes living on reservations in Montana should be able to vote in state elections. “If the reservations want to say they are independent countries … but they want a lot of handouts, why…

Judge denies Gianforte’s ‘executive privilege’ defense in record request lawsuit

A Helena judge has ordered Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte to release government records that spurred a prominent right to know lawsuit. The lawsuit was brought by Helena resident and Democratic political consultant Jayson O’Neill, who filed a request in May 2021 for agency bill monitoring forms, which contain communications between the governor’s office and state…


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