Wednesday, February 1

Tag: state-government

MT’s only contested district court race shaped by statewide politics
Politics

MT’s only contested district court race shaped by statewide politics

There are a lot of peculiarities in this year’s race for district court judge in Cascade County.First, it is the only contested district court race in the state. Ten other district court judges will be elected this year without a challenger.Second, it’s perhaps the most tangible distillation of the state Legislature’s open attacks on the judicial branch last year. While GOP lawmakers antagonized the co-equal branch of government, they also succeeded in passing a new law on how judges reach the bench.David Grubich, the incumbent judge in the race, came to the bench through that new process. His challenger, Michele Levine, was the appointee left by the previous Democratic governor who Republicans rejected amid that newly heightened scrutiny. ...
Nebraska ends fiscal year with record $6.35 billion revenues | Politics
Politics

Nebraska ends fiscal year with record $6.35 billion revenues | Politics

LINCOLN — Nebraska closed out its fiscal year on a record high note, with net tax revenues nearing $6.35 billion, according to a new state report.The Nebraska Department of Revenue report, released Friday, shows the state collected $624 million more for the fiscal year that ended June 30 than predicted just four months earlier. The total is up 10.9% from those February projections, which in turn were $370 million higher than projections issued in October.The new revenue figures had some policymakers talking about tax cuts while others said the money should be used as a hedge against an economic downturn.  State Sen. Lou Ann Linehan of Elkhorn, the Revenue Committee chairwoman, said the increased revenues mean lawmakers should do more to reduce taxes next year, perhaps by c...
Gianforte appoints affordable housing task force | 406 Politics
Politics

Gianforte appoints affordable housing task force | 406 Politics

Gov. Greg Gianforte appointed a committee charged with tackling Montana’s housing crisis Thursday, asking the group to recommend steps the state can take to address affordability and availability.Gianforte signed an executive order Thursday creating the new Housing Advisory Council. The 26-member task force will meet for the first time next week with the directive of making recommendations to the state Legislature and state agencies to “increase the supply of affordable, attainable workforce housing.”“Owning a home is part of the American dream, but for more than a decade, it’s become harder and harder for Montanans to afford to own or rent a home,” Gianforte said in a statement, going on to call current regulations “burdensome.”The executive order also cites a shortage of...
Nebraska politicians debate impact of tumultuous convention on state GOP | Politics
Politics

Nebraska politicians debate impact of tumultuous convention on state GOP | Politics

LINCOLN — Saturday's turmoil at the Nebraska Republican Party convention produced differing reactions from state political leaders, with Republicans claiming to be unfazed and Democrats suggesting that the GOP discord offers them an opportunity.At the GOP convention, delegates fired party Chairman Dan Welch by majority vote. A wave of resignations immediately followed his termination, including Executive Director Taylor Gage and National Committeewoman Lydia Brasch. Explanations for the upheaval differed. Some local Republicans, for example, felt they have been excluded by the party establishment led by Gov. Pete Ricketts. Some also complained that the state party leadership unfairly picked sides in the Republican gubernatorial primary to favor the eventual victor, Jim Pil...
Dan Brady wins GOP Secretary of State nomination | Govt-and-politics
Politics

Dan Brady wins GOP Secretary of State nomination | Govt-and-politics

State Rep. Dan Brady of Bloomington on Tuesday secured the Republican nomination for secretary of state, defeating John Milhiser.Brady likely will face former Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, who held a strong lead late Tuesday in the Democratic primary, in the November contest to fill the post long held by Jesse White.  State...
Commission votes to reduce mountain lion populations in NW Montana | 406 Politics
Politics

Commission votes to reduce mountain lion populations in NW Montana | 406 Politics

The Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission on Wednesday adopted quotas for hunting mountain lions during the upcoming season, including an effort to decrease populations by 12.5% across a swath of northwest Montana.Earlier this year, the commission adopted significant changes to mountain lion regulations. Hunters may apply for either a limited permit for an area allowing hunting for the entirety of the season, or an unlimited regional permit that will be hunted on a quota.Previously seasons varied by region, with northwest Montana’s Region 1 managed by special permit; west-central’s Region 2 managed by a hybrid of special permit followed by a quota hunt for any lions not killed by permit hunters; and the remainder of the state under a quota system.With the commission’s adopt...
Nebraska education commissioner expresses frustration over board’s handling of his contract | Politics
Politics

Nebraska education commissioner expresses frustration over board’s handling of his contract | Politics

Nebraska Education Commissioner Matt Blomstedt publicly expressed frustration Friday over the way the Nebraska State Board of Education was handling the renewal of his employment contract, telling board members that he felt he was excluded from the process.He commented during the monthly meeting of the board at the Nebraska Innovation Campus in Lincoln.“It’s uncomfortable for me to sit here while you talk about me without me,” Blomstedt said. “I will say, and I do feel, as if I’ve not been in the process at this point in time. So, you all are agreeing to an offer that I have yet to consider.”The comments were a rare display of emotion for Blomstedt, a self-deprecating consensus-builder with a steady demeanor.Since taking the job in 2014, his contract renewals have been une...