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Big Sky Lede: Halfway point
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Big Sky Lede: Halfway point

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As the Legislature hits the midway mark, our team breaks down what’s happened so far, what’s left to come and our observations along the way.

Holly Michels, head of the bureau, walks through what bills have already passed the Legislature and how other key priorities have fared. She’ll also run through what died up against the transmittal deadline and how busy the last two days before the break were.

Then reporter Seaborn Larson casts an eye toward what is likely to be the biggest issue of the second half of the session -- the implementation of legalized recreational cannabis. He’ll explain who’s working to create the program, where the money generated from taxes on marijuana might go and what we can glean from the state’s experience creating a medical marijuana program.

To wrap up, reporter Sam Wilson will run through what’s alive and dead when it comes to legislation related to how Montanans vote.  He’ll detail the revival of the Ballot Protection Interference Act, a legislative referendum voters approved in 2018 but was struck down by a Billings judge in 2020. There's also a major proposal to increase access to voting on Montana’s reservations that nearly failed by lack of passing the deadline but got a last-minute reprieve.

This podcast from the Montana State News Bureau is created in partnership across five newsrooms – the Billings Gazette, the Helena Independent Republic, the Missoulian, the Montana Standard and the Ravalli-Republic. You can support this podcast and our efforts by subscribing. Visit any of these newspapers’ websites, and click on the Become a Member button at the top of the home page. We appreciate your support of local journalism.

Montana State News Bureau
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