The Missoula City Council voted on March 3 to amend its anti-panhandling ordinance to prohibit sleeping and lying on the sidewalk downtown from 6 a.m.-11 p.m. and to prohibit sitting within 10 feet of business entrances. This is an improvement over the previous ban on sitting on downtown sidewalks altogether. Read more.
50 years after the landmark case Gideon v. Wainwright, the promise of public defense for every defendant who can’t afford one still remains unfullfilled. In Montana, the Office of the Public Defender is a vast improvement over Montana’s old county-by-county indigent defense, but it remains underfunded.
Butte-Silver Bow County commissioners passed an ordinance Feb. 19 which protects people from discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. It is the third community in Montana to take a stand for LGBT equality.