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Author: Sally Mauk

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Get a recap of this week's action at the Montana Legislature with news and analysis from Sally Mauk, Rob Saldin and Holly Michels. Online Friday afternoons. On air Saturdays at 9:44 a.m.
38 Episodes
Republican lawmakers say they delivered for Montanans. Democrats say they kept a lot of bad things off the books. The Regier family reigned over much of the action. And this session marked a political turning point — but in what direction?
Republicans ban a trans lawmaker from the House floor, putting Montana in the national news spotlight. Meanwhile, much work remains on the budget as the end of the session approaches.
Republicans try to silence transgender lawmaker Zooey Zephyr. Anti-trans bills are on their way to becoming law. Lawmakers table a bill to create a one-time "jungle primary" in next year's Senate race. The defeat of that bill may have political fallout for Senator Steve Daines.
Abortion in Montana could be severely limited if a slew of bills headed to the governor's desk become law. Montana's attorney general intervenes in a lawsuit to ban an abortion pill. Another bill seeks to answer the question of whether religious freedom protects bigoted speech. And lawmakers hope more money will help fix problems at the Warm Springs state hospital.
Rosendale attends Trump's post-arraignment event. Republican leaders want to change election rules — but only in one race. Many Cascade County residents are not happy with how their top election officer is doing her job. And several proposed amendments to the state Constitution may not make it to the ballot after all.
Congressional opponents of a ban on assault weapons, including Montana Sen. Jon Tester, aren't swayed by another school shooting. Neither are many state legislators, who want to expand, not limit, gun rights in Montana. A reference to Satanism prompts a walkout in a Senate committee hearing. And wilderness schools for troubled teens are once again in the legislative spotlight
There aren't many Democratic fingerprints on the budget passed by the House. Montana's Legislature is just one of several targeting transgender issues. And state Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen gets an earful on a statewide tour. Is she aiming for higher office?
Montana's A.G. threatens to sue Walgreens over the abortion pill. The 2024 ballot could include a slew of proposed constitutional changes. Gov. Gianforte celebrates a major legislative win. And some Republican lawmakers propose a definition of sex.
The Capitol Talk team remembers a dear colleague. Rep. Rosendale keeps hanging out with some bad guys. The Legislature buckles down on budget work. And Sen. Steve Daines may back an unknown Bozeman businessman to challenge Jon Tester for his Senate seat.
The Governor celebrates a major win midway through the legislative session. Democrats hope to fend off attempts to weaken the judiciary. And speculation grows over who will challenge Jon Tester for his Senate seat.
Democrats cheer Senator Tester's re-election bid. Republicans excommunicate former governor Marc Racicot. Moderates celebrate a couple of tough legislative victories. And everyone is scrambling to meet the deadline to transfer bills from one chamber to the next. Learn more now on Capitol Talk.
There's rare bipartisan agreement over what to do about wayward balloons. Abortion remains a dominant legislative issue. Montana's former secretary of state wants to now be a country singer. And lawmakers argue over whether Columbus was a good guy or bad guy.
Bills affecting transgender Montanans draw emotional debate. Scientific theories are targeted for elimination from public education. And Senator Daines battles Twitter and "San Francisco elites."
Montana political leaders want some answers about a Chinese spy balloon floating in the Big Sky. Senator Steve Daines is moving up the party leadership ladder. The Republican plan for allocating a billion dollars is headed to the Senate. And prominent Montanans lead a rally to support the state Constitution
In his State of the State Address, Gov. Gianforte said Montana's economy is coming up roses, but Democrats found plenty of dandelions. And Flathead County commissioners have drawn widespread criticism for their views of the county's homeless population. Learn more now on Capitol Talk.
A lawmaker's resignation highlights the downside of Montana’s part-time legislature. The governor’s tax relief proposals face some bipartisan opposition. And another effort to make abortion illegal is likely headed to the courts.
Rep. Rosendale refuses a call from Trump. State Sen. Regier withdraws a resolution Native Americans found insulting. Rep. Zinke warns of threats to cowboys. And more Montanans may lose Medicaid funding
Republican legislators in Montana appear as divided as their counterparts in Congress. Rep. Matt Rosendale gets the spotlight in the fight for a new House speaker. Montana lawmakers must decide how to spend $2 billion. A draft resolution blows a loud dog whistle over Native American rights. Learn more now on Capitol Talk.
The 2021 Legislature produced a balanced budget with a slight spending increase, some new restrictions on abortion, a fight with the state Supreme Court and a lot of fulfilled conservative goals. Holly, Rob and Sally give their final takeaways from the session and preview the upcoming race for Montana's new second congressional seat.
The dispute between Republican legislative leadership and the state Supreme Court will likely continue after the legislative session ends. This as Montana joins several states in passing changes to voting laws — and those changes are already being challenged in court. And Friday, lawmakers reached a compromise on how to implement recreational marijuana.