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Notes from the Field

Bozeman Blitz- Issue 1

Have you ever had the experience where you’re listening to someone speak, trying to understand what they’re saying, but once they finish the best you’ve got is a blank stare because you don’t know wtf they just said? That’s kinda what it feels like sitting in on a city commission meeting for the first time.  Every month I…

What the Helena 2023

What the Helena 2023 Issue 17: Sine Die

Well, we’ve made it. After five long months, a slew of national news headlines, and nearly 800 bills passed, the 68th Montana Legislative Session is finally, blessedly over. So what comes next?  First, we rest. Then, we continue– with municipal elections this fall, communities to build back up, and rulemaking processes that will determine how…

What the Helena 2023

WHAT THE HELENA 2023 ISSUE #16

In light of the historic events unfolding in Helena this week, we’re taking a break from our regular “What the Helena” programming to spend some time talking about Representative Zooey Zephyr. It’s almost certain that, if you’re engaged enough to read this newsletter, you already know that the Montana House of Representatives voted on Wednesday…

What the Helena 2023

What the Helena 2023 Issue #15

Well friends, we’re limping along and almost to the finish line of this very brutal legislative session! Through all the good news and bad, we’re grateful for you – your participation, questions, thoughts, ideas, and general existence bring us such joy. This week has been quite the doozy, but so many folks have shown up…

What the Helena 2023

What the Helena Issue #14

Has this year’s legislative session left you feeling discombobulated? Befuddled? Frazzled? Perhaps even perplexed? Well there’s a good reason for that – this year legislators have introduced the most bills since 1973, which is when Montana law had to undergo a massive overhaul to incorporate our brand-new Constitution! As we get into the closing few…

What the Helena 2023

What the Helena 2023 Issue #12

Constitutional Changes & Another Zombie Bill ???? Calls to Action ???? ⚖️ HB 915 proposes a Constitutional amendment that would replace our Supreme Court justice elections with a system where the Governor appoints new justices, needlessly injecting partisan politics into the courts. Tell your Representative you want to be able to elect your Supreme Court…

What the Helena 2023

What the Helena 2023 Issue #11

Welcome to this week’s edition of What The Helena, where we’re tackling several housing bills, the state’s budget for the next two years, andmuch more!The $14.3 billion budget bill faced quite the all-day battle in the House this week, as amendment after amendment from the Democrats was voted down nearly along party lines. However, according…

What the Helena 2023

What the Helena 2023 Issue #10

Welcome back, dear readers, to the second half of this whirlwind of a legislative session. We’re officially past the halfway point and back from transmittal break! That means that no more general bills– bills that aren’t related to revenue or Constitutional changes– can be introduced. Now, bills that have already passed in one chamber (the…

What the Helena 2023

What the Helena 2023- Issue #9

Well, readers, we are officially halfway through this absolute whirlwind of a legislative session. The Capitol building is the quietest it’s been in months, and after a series of marathon days and rapid-fire bill debates, our legislators are taking some hard-earned time off over this transmittal break to rest, recuperate, and then do it all…

What the Helena 2023

What the Helena 2023- Issue #8

Calls to Action ????????‍⚖️ SB 302 would make the November election for judges partisan after a nonpartisan primary election. Contact your legislators and tell them to vote NO on SB 302. ???? SB 441 prohibits anyone but a family member from returning a voter’s ballot (with exceptions for election and postal workers), in a clear…

What the Helena 2023

What the Helena 2023- Issue #7

Calls to action ???? SB 315 would allow Montana schools to provide age and developmentally appropriate information on consent and healthy relationships, anatomy and physiology, puberty and adolescent sexual development, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation and identity, sexual health, and interpersonal violence. Send a message to the Senate Education and Cultural Resources Committee voicing…

What the Helena 2023

What the Helena 2023- Issue #6 

Happy (almost) Valentine’s Day, dear readers! While there’s plenty of nonsense to cover this week, we wanted to kick off our newsletter with a little love poem for you: The legislature can drive us all up the wall, But we are eternally grateful for y’all – Thanks for your support, both big and small,Together we’ll keep each…

What the Helena 2023

What the Helena 2023 Issue #5

CALLS TO ACTION Week 5 of the session has us drowning in the good, the bad, and the ugly bills! Here are a few we’d love for y’all to take action on this week. If this feels overwhelming (it is!), just pick the one or two that matter most to you– no one can do…

What the Helena 2023

What the Helena 2023- Issue #4

CALLS TO ACTION Join us in the Capitol building on February 1 from 12-1PM to rally in support of Montana’s Constitution! Our Constitution is unique among states; it includes strong privacy protections, as well as guaranteeing the right to a clean, healthful environment. Despite this, Montana legislators have already proposed upwards of 50 amendments that…

What the Helena 2023

WHAT THE HELENA 2023- ISSUE #3

CALLS TO ACTION Who doesn’t love some good ol’ fashioned censorship? Representative Bob Phalen is putting forward HB 234, which seeks to tell kids what they can and can’t read. This bill would prevent public schools, public libraries, and museums from displaying or disseminating any materials deemed ‘obscene’ (by anyone) to minors– a move that…

What the Helena 2023

What the Helena 2023- Issue #2

CALLS TO ACTION Want to take action without reading a whole newsletter? We’ve got you covered! Here are four quick things you can do to make your voice heard: BONUS: Join us in Helena next Friday, January 20th, for Protect Our Home: A Climate Advocacy Day. RSVP at this link, and we’ll see you there!…

What the Helena 2023

What the Helena 2023- Issue #1

Well, folks, we’ve made it through the first week of the 2023 legislative session! Our new representatives are sworn in (unlike those in the U.S. House…), the bill drafts are coming in hot, and we’re back with our weekly update on WTH is happening in Helena. Buckle in, friends; this session’s going to be a…

Notes from the Field

Whose Court? Our Court!

Exploring the Role of the Montana Supreme Court In the vastness that is the Montana legal landscape, the Montana Supreme Court stands tall as the ultimate pillar of justice and constitutional interpretation. Serving as the highest court of last resort in the state, it plays a pivotal role in ensuring the fair application of laws…

Notes from the Field

2023 Board Elections

It’s that time of the year again! Time for Forward Montana Board Elections. We are filling five spots on our board and have 20 awesome candidates. If you are a member of Forward Montana (aka you have donated $10 or more or volunteered for two hours or more in the past year) you are able…

What the Helena 2023

What the Helena 2023 Issue #13

???? Calls to Action ???? ⚖️ SB 566 would create a brand new top-two primary procedure for next year’s US Senate election (and only that election), where only the two largest vote-getters in the June primary election move on to the November general election. This would almost certainly block any third-party candidate from appearing on the…