Bullock betting on budget deal

Private prison in Shelby central to special session negotiations
By John S. Adams, Montana Free Press
As lawmakers prepare to gather in Helena on Monday, the question looming over the state Capitol is this: can Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock hammer out a deal with House and Senate Republicans, or will lawmakers leave town without an agreement and force Bullock to slash hundreds of millions in government programs and services to cover the state’s the $227 million budget shortfall? “As far as I know this is uncharted territory,” Republican House Speaker Austin Knudsen said in an interview Friday.

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Bullock campaign fined $3,000 for reporting violations involving state aircraft

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock’s campaign has agreed to pay a $3,000 fine to the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices to resolve a complaint stemming from Bullock’s use of a state aircraft during his 2016 re-election campaign. A three-page settlement document posted to the Commissioner of Political Practices’ website late Friday afternoon “finally resolves” the allegations against Bullock’s campaign committee, Friends of Steve Bullock.

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High Court upholds verdict in Wittich corruption case

The Montana Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed with a lower court’s finding that former Republican state lawmaker Art Wittich violated Montana’s campaign finance laws when he illegally coordinated with third-party political groups during his 2010 primary election campaign. In a unanimous 5-0 opinion written by Justice Beth Baker, the state Supreme Court concluded that former Commissioner of Political Practices Jonathan Motl properly investigated the case against Wittich, and they affirmed District Judge Ray Dayton’s decision to fine Wittich $68,232.58.

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