Keila Szpaller

Keila Szpaller

Keila Szpaller is deputy editor of the Daily Montanan and covers education. Before joining States Newsroom Montana, she served as city editor of the Missoulian, the largest news outlet in western Montana.

Chair on DPHHS: ‘All of us are not happy with this budget, but all of us might like this budget’

By: - March 23, 2023

In his opening remarks on the largest portion of the state budget, Rep. Bob Keenan, R-Bigfork, said a text message he had received might bode well for the discussion on the state health department. One day before the Montana House took up the big budget bill, a provider told Keenan they were heading back to […]

Education budget funds more staff for new Heritage Center, ongoing language preservation

By: - March 22, 2023

In the past, the Montana Indian Language Preservation Program didn’t have guaranteed funding, but it may have it soon. Wednesday, the Montana House took up the big budget bill that covers state spending for the next two years, and Rep. David Bedey, R-Hamilton, said money for education includes paying for that program “on an ongoing […]

Montana State University issues warning to student who witnesses said made gun threat

By: - March 21, 2023

A student who witnesses said threatened to shoot other students at Montana State University was given a warning for disorderly conduct after campus police said they found the threat was not legitimate. On Thursday, March 2, MSU University Police received a call to the Strand Union Building that two males were “yelling and screaming at […]

Gov: Unemployment rate ties an ‘all time low,’ prison wages going up

By: - March 21, 2023

Montana’s unemployment rate tied an all-time low record in January, Gov. Greg Gianforte announced at a recent press conference. “We’re unleashing the engine of economic growth, business development and job creation that for too long has sputtered in Montana,” Gianforte said at a news conference last week. The rate dropped to 2.5% in January, and […]

Montana Highway Patrol campus proposed to be named after late AG chief deputy Kris Hansen

By: - March 21, 2023

Kris Hansen loved to take road trips in Montana, and she took the backroads and the twisting, curvy highways, said her mom, Sue Hansen. “We miss Kris terribly,” Sue Hansen said last week. “One of the things we miss the most … is those drives around this absolutely beautiful state where she was so privileged […]

The Montana state Capitol in Helena on Jan. 2, 2023.

Proponent at hearing on Medicaid rates: ‘Who puts you guys to bed?’

By: - March 20, 2023

Last week, a 45-year-old person who is homeless and dying was dropped off on the doorstep of the Gallatin Rest Home in Bozeman, according to the director. Darcel Vaughn, the administrator, said she wasn’t going to turn the person away even though she had no idea whether Medicaid would cover the cost of her care. […]

University of Montana provost stepping down, taking on new initiative

By: - March 16, 2023

The University of Montana provost will step down from the second-in-command post at the flagship in May to help launch a new initiative to bolster university partnerships and benefit students. “The call for change in higher ed is everywhere,” Provost Pardis Mahdavi said in an email to the campus. “The concept is that instead of […]

Republicans propose constitutional amendment on Montana’s right to bear arms

By: - March 15, 2023

If Democrats regain political power in Montana in the future, it’d be good to have gun rights soundly secured in the Montana Constitution. That’s the argument Rep. Braxton Mitchell, R-Columbia Falls, made Wednesday with a supermajority of Republicans in control of the Montana Legislature. In the House Judiciary Committee, Mitchell argued in favor of a […]

Montana Board of Regents chairwoman: ‘I take these concerns incredibly seriously’

By: - March 15, 2023

The chairperson of the Montana Board of Regents said Wednesday the board is taking seriously the concerns of students who allege universities are trampling on their constitutional rights. This week, legislators heard testimony on a bill to amend the constitution to give some power over the public university system to the Montana Legislature. Students, many […]

Bill to increase tax credits for education clears House

By: - March 14, 2023

With support from the Gianforte Administration, a bill that bumps up the ceiling for a couple of dollar-for-dollar education tax credit programs to an initial $5 million passed third reading in the House on Tuesday. With a clause that allows that ceiling to bump up over the years, Rep. Jim Hamilton, D-Bozeman, calculated in committee […]

Montana Senate votes to repeal state energy policy

By: - March 14, 2023

The state of Montana took a big step Tuesday to do away with the state’s energy policy. The Senate voted 33-17 in favor of House Bill 170, to repeal the policy. It addresses energy efficiency and conservation, calls for development of Montana’s coal reserves and wind capacity, and supports new technologies, among other provisions. The […]

University of Montana selects law school dean

By: - March 14, 2023

The University of Montana announced Tuesday longtime faculty member and interim dean Elaine Gagliardi will serve as the permanent dean of the Alexander Blewett III School of Law. “I am thrilled for the opportunity to continue leading the Alexander Blewett III School of Law, an institution that means so much to our state,” Gagliardi said […]