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2011 Montana Legislature News


Montana Legislature jobs tour could yield good ideas:


Shortly after the start of the last legislative session, the Republican majority took a Saturday to invite business leaders from all across Montana to come to the Capitol to talk about the economic ...


36 States & DC Interested in Early Learning Challengen (Montana not competing) :


Thirty-six states, including Massachusetts, and the District of Columbia have indicated interest in applying for the $500 million Race to the Top - Early Learning Challenge, Ed Week's Politics K-12 ...


How educated are state legislators?:


The Chronicle has looked at where each of the 7,000-plus state legislators in America went to college - or whether they went at all. In doing so, we got a glimpse of how the citizens who hold these ...


Guest opinion: Legislature boosts jobs, Montana economy:


The 62nd session of the Montana Legislature may go down in history for many reasons, but one of the biggest will be its positive impact on Montana's business climate. Lawmakers passed several laws early ...


Montana League of Cities and Towns reports on Legislature's effects:


Representatives from cities around the region met in Billings on Tuesday to discuss the 2011 Legislature. Alec Hansen, executive director of the Montana League of Cities and Towns, met with city officials ...


A session of frustration :


Rep. Liz Bangerter has the angular build of a runner. No surprise, the Helena Republican runs and lifts weights to stay in shape. The first-termer came into the Capitol sure that she could keep her ...


Governor Schweitzer Offers his Assessment of 2011 Montana Legislature:


Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer opined about the state's 2011 Legislature last week in Whitefish, naming the overhaul of the state's workers' compensation law and revision of eminent domain laws as the ...


The 2011 Montana legislative session in review:


Montana's 62nd Legislature adjourned last week after a contentious session that spanned most of four months and saw the introduction of more than 1,100 bills. Less than a third of those have ...


Montana chool funding bill may include controversial charter school language:


The bill that will set state funding for Montana public schools the next two years may include something else bound to cause a political fight: Language authorizing "charter schools" in Montana. Sen. ...


Economic development money works:


Economic development can be a tricky business. It's pretty much part of the game now to offer incentives for businesses to start, move or grow in a particular state or county or city. But at the same ...


Energy efficiency tax credit could go away in Montana:


If Republican Senator Bob Lake (Hamilton) http://leg.mt.gov/css/Sessions/62nd/leg_info.asp?HouseID=0&SessionID=105&LAWSID=2604 has his way Montanans will no longer be able to get a credit for making their ...


Guest opinion: Encourage legislators to focus on K-12 schools' needs:


As we near the end of the 2011 Legislature, with 10 days left as of Monday, legislators are going to have to switch into high gear if they are going to adjourn having met the needs of K-12 public education. ...


Lawmakers consider cutting Montana economic development funds:


"We need to continue to make investments in job growth and training ... so that as jobs in the new economy emerge, we've got people to do those jobs." Sen. Dave Wanzenried D-Missoula Former Missoula ...
>>2 reader comments NEW!


Rep. Kris Hansen - "Plan for education for next Legislature NOW!!":


Rep. Kris Hansen, R-Havre http://leg.mt.gov/css/Sessions/62nd/leg_info.asp?HouseID=0&SessionID=105&LAWSID=8077 , said during a legislative video conference in Havre Wednesday that she wants to meet with ...


Who Benefits from a Montana Business Equipment Tax Cut?:


During floor debates Montana lawmakers generally strive not to name specific people or businesses affected by the legislation at hand. But sometimes they lapse. Such was the case during a March 25 ...


Editorial: Attract new industries with an educated Montana workforce:


This Legislature was supposed to be all about jobs. Unemployment in Montana remains high and lawmakers from both parties are looking for ways to bring more jobs to the state. Some want to cut business ...


Part 4: New UM satellite program filling need for higher education:


This is the final part of a four-part series exploring the possible effects of more than $32 million in budget cuts to higher education in the next two years. The Montana Senate is expected to vote ...


Budget cuts violate the 'code' - Senator Williams asks for lean, responsible budget to make Gene Autry proud:


My favorite cowboy, Gene Autry, lived by a code. In Autry's code, a cowboy would "be gentle with children, the elderly, and animals; help people in distress; respect women, parents and his nation's ...


Montana - Cutting investment in job creation efforts? Now is not the time.:


Big Sky EDA and the MEDA Legislative Committee put together a handout http://www.matr.net/files/LegislativeEconomicUpdateNowisNottheTime.pdf so that you can update your legislative leadership as to the ...


Montana Republican Says Drunkenness is "Way of Life"; Opposes DUI Laws:


Alan Hale http://leg.mt.gov/css/Sessions/62nd/leg_info.asp?HouseID=0&SessionID=105&LAWSID=8093 thinks being drunk is a way of life. TEA party legislator yesterday made an impassioned speech on the floor ...
>>1 reader comment NEW!


Missoula schools prepare for possible job, program cuts:


The financial forecast is in limbo largely due to the Montana Legislature. Districts across the state are in the same straits, operating in a fog of uncertainty about money. On Monday, 90 teachers ...


Help Pass House Bill 439 - 2,400 students crammed into building constructed for 700. - Crowded College of Technology awaits word on legislative funding for new building:


The 1960s school building constructed for 700 students doesn't accommodate today's enrollment of 2,400 students. The UM COT is the largest and fastest growing two-year college in the state. In the ...


Guest opinion: HB439: A jobs bill both parties can embrace:


"Future generations will directly benefit from the jobs and small business opportunities made possible now by HB439." "Job, jobs, jobs" arises from the Montana Capitol this legislative session like ...


Gazette opinion: House Bill 439 - Let's create jobs by investing in Montana's future. Your Help is Needed!:


The best plan in the 2011 Legislature for creating jobs in the upcoming biennium while investing in Montana's long-term future received strong bipartisan approval Monday in the House Appropriations Committee. By ...


Attention Montana! Your help is requested on HB 439. Please contact your legislators.:


You need to contact your legislator today to make your voice heard. Tomorrow may be too late. The full Appropriations Committee by a vote of 15-6 voted to move HB 439 http://data.opi.mt.gov/bills/2011/billhtml/HB0439.htm ...


Stephen Colbert lampoons Montana climate change bill - Video:


The Montana Legislature was already being called the laughing stock http://missoulanews.bigskypress.com/missoula/etc/Content?oid=1390846 of the nation, and now Stephen Colbert has piled on. On ...


Montana's GOP legislators gaining national attention - Democratic legislators share hopes, frustrations about the session:


The Militia of Montana is but a fading memory. The Freemen? Forgotten. Unabomber? Yawn. In recent years, Montana finally seemed to be ceding its national-stereotype status as a place where renegades ...


GOP lawmakers report to public - Cite extreme media bias:


Citing extreme media bias, Republican lawmakers home on their midsession break Friday told supporters that their best work was being ignored by the press. "The stuff that you read in the paper?" ...


University of Montana Legislative roundtable: Lot of time wasted in first half of Montana Legislature:


On Thursday, the halfway point of the 2011 legislative session, Sen. Bruce Tutvedt, R-Kalispell, took the opportunity to make a distinction between the two legislative houses. "There's the saying ...


Montana to newly elected tea party lawmakers: Don't make our state into a laughingstock:


With each new bill, newly elected lawmakers from the loose-knit, largely conservative anti-tax tea party coalition are offering Montanans a vision of the future. Their state would be a place where ...

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