Biden says ‘big chunks’ of his spending bill could still succeed, including climate pla

BY: - January 19, 2022

President Joe Biden said Wednesday the climate and child care provisions in his domestic spending agenda could still become law this year, even as the larger plan has stalled in the Senate over other items that Biden conceded may not pass — such as an expanded child tax credit. In a nearly two-hour news conference, […]

As COVID surges and workforce is tight, Montana hospital recruits international nurses

BY: - January 16, 2022

BILLINGS, Mont. — Before Mary Venus was offered a nursing job at a hospital here, she’d never heard of Billings or visited the United States. A native of the Philippines, she researched her prospective move via the internet, set aside her angst about the cold Montana winters and took the job, sight unseen. Venus has […]

MFPE sues State AG and SOS over property tax initiative

BY: - January 13, 2022

Two Montana business owners and the Montana Federation of Public Employees are asking a Lewis and Clark County District Court judge to block signature gathering on a recently approved ballot initiative that, if passed, would limit residential property tax increases to less than 2 percent per year. In a lawsuit filed Wednesday, the plaintiffs argue […]

BNSF to take over Montana Rail Link after leasing agreement terminated

BY: - January 12, 2022

BNSF Rail plans to take ownership of Montana Rail Link, the freight railroad company that has leased long stretches of BNSF lines in Montana since the 1980s, MRL President Derek Ollmann told employees in a letter this week. BNSF, one of two major railroad companies in the U.S., has committed to retain all of MRL’s […]

Montana’s new individual income tax rate now in effect

BY: - January 10, 2022

Montana’s new individual income tax rate for the state’s top income earners is now in effect, the Montana Department of Revenue announced Monday. In 2022, the highest marginal tax rate will be 6.75% — down from 6.9% — on any taxable income over $17,400, according to a press release from the Montana Department of Revenue. […]

Group starts collecting signatures for property tax cap initiative

BY: - January 7, 2022

Montana Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen has approved a constitutional initiative that, if passed, would cap residential property taxes, roll back valuations, and also reduce tax breaks for “speculators, investors and house ‘flippers.’” Former state lawmaker and current U.S. House of Representatives candidate Al Olszewski is the treasurer for the Montana Property Tax Cap Initiative. […]

Industry, customers exhale with beginning of adult-use pot in Montana

BY: - January 3, 2022

It was late morning on New Years Day, and though much of downtown Helena was cold and quiet, business was good at the Cannabis Corner. A steady stream of customers had braved the frigid temps all morning long, lining up in the dawn of a new day for Montana: Recreational marijuana had arrived. Though technically […]

Biden extends student loan repayment pause three more months

BY: - December 22, 2021

President Joe Biden will continue a pandemic-spurred pause on student loan repayments until May 1, he said Wednesday. Loan repayments were set to restart Jan. 31, following months of the U.S. Education Department not requiring payments during the pandemic. Biden told the department to extend the moratorium initially placed by President Donald Trump’s administration. It […]

Schumer vows U.S. Senate action on voting rights and social policy, as Manchin rift deepens

BY: - December 20, 2021

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Monday he plans to force votes on voting rights, a sweeping social policy bill and a change to Senate rules early next year — even as members of his caucus have made clear in recent days Democrats lack the support to pass those proposals. In a letter to […]

Montana has paid only 3,000 return-to-work bonuses

BY: - December 17, 2021

The return-to-work incentive program put forth by Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte in May will likely have delivered $1,200 bonuses to around 3,000 people by the end of its lifespan come January, officials with the Department of Labor and Industry said this week, only a quarter of the 12,000 individuals the state once anticipated paying. The […]

Never mind toys, it’s time to ask Santa for crutches and catheters

BY: - December 12, 2021

America’s hospitals, strained by nearly two years of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, are now scrounging for basic medical supplies. In another consequence of the global supply chain crisis, hospitals managing holiday COVID surges and all their other patients are running short of many necessities of care: crutches, syringes, needles, tubing, gloves, catheters, drapes for surgery, […]

Lawmakers object to proposed marijuana rules; will meet again on Dec. 13

BY: - December 9, 2021

The Economic Affairs Interim Committee unanimously voted on Thursday to stall the rulemaking process for implementing the state’s new recreational marijuana program, with lawmakers asserting that some of the Department of Revenue’s interpretations of House Bill 701, a law passed this session regulating recreational marijuana, stray too far from its legislative intent. As the January […]