Morning Buzz 3/26: News from the 62nd Legislature

Posted on March 26, 2011

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The Lee State Bureau’s Charles S. Johnson reports on the Senate Judiciary Committee’ s decision Friday to approve a bill that would repeal Montana’s medical marijuana law and replace it with a one that would slash the number of qualified users and make the industry largely invisible.

Meanwhile, the bureau’s Mike Dennison reported that legislative leaders finally agreed to release the names of lawmakers participating in a special state health insurance program for legislators. That’s interesting in a session where many legislators have blasted government health care programs. Here’s the list.

By the way, you can hear Johnson and Dennison wrap up the week’s session news in their weekly Capitol Talk interview with Montana Public Radio news director Sally Mauk.

Today’s other stories include a report by Great Falls Tribune correspondent John S. Adams on the House vote to approve a $97 million bill to build a number of new state buildings, including several university system buildings and  new state historical museum. Adams also reported on the advance of legislation to expand open-pit gold and silver mining in Montana.

The Associated Press’ Matt Gouras reports on the advance of a GOP bill to cut the property taxes businesses pay on equipment. To cover the lost revenue, the Senate is advancing a plan eliminate several tax breaks, including those for individuals who make their homes more energy-efficient and for filmmakers who shoot movies in Montana.

The AP also reported a tiny drop in the state’s unemployment rate.