Economy

Supreme Court’s rejection of eviction ban puts pressure to dole out aid

BY: - August 27, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court’s rejection of the Biden administration’s last-ditch effort to extend a federal ban on evictions has put hundreds of thousands of American renters at risk of losing their housing — and is increasing pressure on states and localities to get rental assistance dollars distributed faster. In an eight-page majority opinion […]

Montana economist: ‘The economy is running very warm, if not hot’

BY: - August 23, 2021

The unemployment rate dropped 0.1 percent to 3.6 percent in one month, and economist Patrick Barkey said Montana is “dabbling with full employment.” “There’s lots of cash in the economy, everything from personal income gains, savings that people accumulated over the pandemic, strong demand for labor, (and) wages going up for entry-level jobs,” said Barkey, […]

Steep construction increases hit Montana University System

BY: - August 16, 2021

The steep hike in construction costs has hit Montana State University in Bozeman to the tune of $18.2 million, a roughly 30 percent increase on a $60 million project to rebuild its Student Wellness Center. However, the student fee will remain the same, $58 a semester, due to a lower interest rate on the bond, […]

Moderate House Dems to Pelosi: Pass the infrastructure bill first, then the budget

BY: - August 13, 2021

WASHINGTON — Nine moderate U.S. House Democrats including Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey, Carolyn Bourdeaux of Georgia and Jared Golden of Maine are threatening to oppose a budget resolution needed to pass a major social policy package unless a bipartisan infrastructure bill is first signed into law, according to multiple media reports. Opposition from the […]

‘Big and bold’ infrastructure bill still falls short on helping states fight climate change

BY: - August 5, 2021

The Senate is poised to pass a massive $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that would upgrade state transportation networks, electric grids, water systems and more. It’s a major spending boost and potential job-creator that yet falls short of the administration’s goals to address climate change and reduce its effects in the states. The White House worked […]

Mid-year report shows boom in state park visitors

BY: - August 5, 2021

Fire and smoke are choking out some Montana communities, but mid-year visitation numbers show tourism is thriving, with a record number of visitors flocking to state parks this year. Visitation to Montana parks so far has increased 11.1% over 2020 and 44.1% over 2019, according to data provided by the University of Montana’s Institute of […]

Federal eviction moratorium ends today, after deal to extend it collapses

BY: - July 31, 2021

WASHINGTON — Congressional Democrats unsuccessfully scrambled on Friday to extend federal legal protections against eviction that will expire on Saturday. The end of the eviction moratorium jeopardizes housing security for millions of Americans who are struggling both to pay their rent and to access billions of dollars in slow-moving federal rental assistance funds. Top Democrats in […]

Montana, U.S. saw surge in personal income in early 2021

BY: - July 13, 2021

If anyone needed proof of what sending most Americans checks would do, the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis proved it: Personal income for the first quarter of 2021 jumped a whopping 59 percent compared to a year ago, driven mostly by a combination of COVID-19 relief from the government and expanded unemployment benefits. Overall, the […]

Anti-poverty advocates urge Congress to act on voting rights, minimum wage, filibuster

BY: - July 12, 2021

WASHINGTON—The Poor People’s Campaign announced on Monday the beginning of a weeks-long push calling on Congress to end the Senate filibuster and pass voting rights legislation. The anti-poverty campaign, “A Season of Nonviolent Moral Direct Action,” will run each Monday until Aug. 2. Advocates are urging Congress to enact the sweeping “For the People Act,” an […]

How the expanded federal child tax credit will work

BY: - July 10, 2021

WASHINGTON — The most ambitious part of the pandemic stimulus package signed by President Joe Biden earlier this year is about to hit the bank accounts of millions of U.S. parents. Starting next week and ending in December, the vast majority of U.S. households with children will begin receiving monthly payments as a result of changes […]

Department of Commerce: More than $10M in rent, assistance, paid

BY: - July 8, 2021

Montana Housing announced Thursday that more than $10 million in rent and utility assistance has been paid to support Montanans who have experienced financial hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic and were at risk of housing instability, according to a news release from the Montana Department of Commerce. The federally funded assistance is provided by […]

Biden administration to issue executive order on country of origin labeling

BY: - July 6, 2021

WASHINGTON—The White House will unveil an executive order in the coming days that directs the U.S. Department of Agriculture to clarify that meat can only receive a “Product of USA” label if that livestock is raised in the U.S. rather than abroad, press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Tuesday afternoon. “The EO directs USDA to […]