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Articles written by Michael Wright

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  • Senate Injects Money Into Budget Bill

    Michael Wright, Community News Service--UM School Of Journalism|Apr 8, 2015

    A Montana Senate panel put about $50 million into the state budget bill last week, after Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock said the budget crafted by House Republicans was unacceptable. The panel added about $25 million in amendments to House Bill 2, the $4 billion state general fund budget for the next two years. The amendments injected some of the money the governor asked for in his budget proposal. The committee also added another $25 million in what’s known as a supplemental appropriation, which covers some debts for the remainder of this f...

  • Talking Energy, Sage Grouse Not Easy

    Michael Wright, Community News Service--UM School Of Journalism|Feb 18, 2015

    A chicken-sized bird has gotten energy industry advocates and conservationists, Republicans and Democrats working together to prevent it from becoming the next native Montana species listed as endangered or threatened: the sage grouse. “This isn’t a political winner for any politician,” said Sen. Brad Hamlett, D-Cascade. “You’re tasked with the responsibility of looking out for the best interests of the state.” In this case, that means balancing energy interests and conservation to keep the vulnerable aviary species under state control. Th...

  • Lawmakers Get To Work In Helena

    Michael Wright, Community News Service--UM School Of Journalism|Jan 14, 2015

    The 2015 Montana Legislature convened Jan. 5, and ceremonial and educational events welcomed the 150 lawmakers from all over the state to Helena. During the swearing-in ceremonies, the leaders of each party said they hoped the parties would work together to better the state. “I look around this room and see 50 individuals dedicated to making Montana a better place,” said new Senate President Debby Barrett, R-Dillon. Barrett is the first woman elected Senate president, and she spoke about increasing the power of the legislative branch. “It...

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