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Follow the fireworks
The state offers a number of different ways to follow the action in Helena and make your voice heard.
Watch, listen and learn
The Legislature website provides live broadcasts of floor sessions and committee hearings, as well as archived footage. For live coverage, floor sessions generally begin at 1 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 8 a.m. most Saturdays.
To access both audio and video broadcasts, visit www.leg.mt.gov/broadcast.
The session is also broadcast on cable television. Western Montana stations include:
Missoula: Channel 67
Bigfork: Channel 67
Kalispell: Channel 67
Columbia Falls: Channel 67
Hamilton: Channel 17
Libby: Channel 17
Stevensville: Channel 37
Polson: Channel 97
Ronan: Channel 97
Find your legislator—and their e-mail address—at http://leg.mt.gov/css/findalegislator.asp.
If you want to leave a message for a legislator by phone, call the Session Information Desk at (406) 444-4800. This service is available from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and from 8 a.m. to adjournment on Saturdays.
To reach a legislator by mail, address letters to:
P.O. Box 200500
Helena, MT 59620-0500
Montana House of Representatives
P.O. Box 200400
Helena, MT 59620-0400
Find more information on the 2011 Regular Session, including a database of bill draft requests and status, at http://leg.mt.gov/css/sessions/62nd/default.asp. For more information than you could possibly want about current laws, the lawmaking process and the history of state government, visit http://leg.mt.gov.
Helena's George Ochenski rattles the cage of the political establishment as a political analyst for the Independent. Read his weekly column on page 9, or contact Ochenski at email@example.com.