Montana pension funds take a $3M loss in banking collapse

BY: - March 21, 2023

Montana, at least you’re not Ohio. After last week’s collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, public pension systems began reporting that they were part of the collateral damage done by the banks’ implosion. Ohio topped the list at having nearly $40 million in holdings through Silicon Valley Bank that were likely wiped out […]

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 […]

Biden administration details potential cuts in education, food aid and more under GOP plan

BY: - March 20, 2023

WASHINGTON — Federal departments and agencies say U.S. House Republicans’ plans to cut federal spending would result in reductions to key programs like food aid, education assistance and wildfire management. The series of letters from across the federal government released Monday detail exactly how plans to cut at least $130 billion in domestic spending during […]

Bill seeking to cut Montana unemployment eligibility to 20 weeks clears Appropriations Committee

BY: - March 18, 2023

Great Falls Republican Rep. Steven Galloway’s bill to cut Montana unemployment eligibility from 28 weeks to 20, which he says will allow business owners to pay their employees more rather than paying into the unemployment insurance trust fund, saw one of the shortest Appropriations hearings of the session Thursday. No one testified as proponents, opponents, […]

Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse differs from our last financial crisis

BY: - March 15, 2023

After the largest U.S. bank failure in more than a decade, regional bank stocks plunged on Monday as the federal government — with the 2007-2008 financial crisis still a fresh memory for many — rushed to reassure Americans that the U.S. banking system was stable. President Joe Biden told Americans that the risks taken on by failed banks will […]

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 […]

Bill seeks to increase eligibility, cap copays for families receiving child care scholarships

BY: - March 14, 2023

A bill from Rep. Alice Buckley, D-Bozeman, that has bipartisan support and was heard in committee on Tuesday aims to provide an estimated additional 1,000 children in Montana with Best Beginnings Scholarship program eligibility to offset child care costs for low-income Montana families. House Bill 648 puts the Best Beginnings program into statute, increases the […]

Workforce housing served two ways: Proposals from parties differ on how to tackle the shortage

BY: - March 14, 2023

One of the biggest barriers to recruiting and retaining staff across industries in Montana is housing, proponents for a bill to infuse $500 million into affordable housing projects said. The workforce housing shortage has been a topic of debate in the legislature this session, with both Republicans and Democrats proposing solutions to the problem. Tirza […]

Governor cites ‘historic’ tax relief, Dems say only for the wealthy

BY: - March 13, 2023

Gov. Greg Gianforte touted historic tax relief on the steps of the Montana capitol on Monday as he signed into law six tax slashing bills into law – and one that changes corporate income taxes. The bills include a cut to income tax for top earners from 6.5% to 5.9%, a property tax rebate of […]

Biden says U.S. bank deposits are safe despite tumult over California bank collapse

BY: - March 13, 2023

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden reassured Americans early Monday that their money is safe in U.S. banks, after a tumultuous weekend following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and a move by regulators to shut down a second lender. Americans “should feel confident that their deposits will be there, if and when they need them,” […]

Economist warns that ‘heightened dysfunction’ in Congress raises risk of debt default

BY: - March 7, 2023

WASHINGTON — Economists on Tuesday urged Congress to address the debt limit quickly, cautioning that simply because U.S. lawmakers have successfully brokered deals before doesn’t mean they will be able to this year. “There is a temptation to brush off the developing debt limit drama, thinking it will end the same way as the others […]

U.S. agriculture secretary unveils initiatives aimed at small and midsized operations

BY: - March 6, 2023

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Monday announced new steps the Department of Agriculture is taking to recenter U.S. agriculture and benefit small and midsized operations, including a proposed new “Product of USA” labeling rule and an $89 million expansion of the USDA intermediary lending program. At the National Farmers Union conference in San Francisco, […]