Economy

Montana approves more than $25 million in federal affordable housing tax credits

BY: - December 6, 2021

The Montana Department of Commerce said Monday that the state Board of Housing has allocated more than $25 million in federal low-income housing tax credits over the last two months, helping to finance the construction, acquisition or rehabilitation of affordable housing units in Big Sky, Lewiston, Billings, Great Falls, Dillon and Kalispell. These roughly 250 […]

Netzer firm asks for hearing at ‘earliest opportunity’ on preliminary injunction

BY: - December 3, 2021

The Netzer Law Office, a plaintiff in a case alleging House Bill 702 is unconstitutional, has asked the Richland County District Court for summary judgment following an earlier request for a preliminary injunction on the legislation, which it describes as a “reckless law.” The State of Montana, on the other hand, filed a motion to […]

Biden opens oil reserve to relieve high gas prices—but it won’t be immediate

BY: - November 24, 2021

As gasoline prices spiral ahead of the big holiday travel season, President Joe Biden authorized the release of a record 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve Tuesday—complicating his administration’s goal to transition to cleaner energy sources. In prepared remarks, Biden said he coordinated the release from the reserve, a complex of four […]

How paid leave, a tax cut for the rich and more could get axed from Biden’s social policy bill

BY: and - November 23, 2021

Congressional Democrats cheered on the floor of the U.S. House after approving President Joe Biden’s massive social spending and climate bill. But a major struggle lies ahead in the coming month in the U.S. Senate, where Democrats cannot lose any votes within their party if they are to send the so-called Build Back Better measure […]

Proposed change to on-the-job training regulations rankles Montana labor

BY: - November 22, 2021

Trade unions and state officials are at odds over a proposed rule that would increase the number of apprentices who can work under a journeyman tradesman, with directors of union training programs warning that the change could pose safety risks and decrease the quality of hands-on learning in the workplace. Current state policy says that […]

House Democrats pass Biden’s $1.85 trillion ‘Build Back Better’ plan

BY: , and - November 19, 2021

WASHINGTON — U.S. House Democrats united around a landmark $1.85 trillion social spending and climate bill on Friday, sending the major plank of President Joe Biden’s economic agenda to the Senate. Democratic leaders in the House heralded the 220-213 near party-line vote on the so-called Build Back Better bill, touting its provisions on child care, education, health care, taxes […]

Biden signs historic infrastructure bill

BY: , and - November 15, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Monday signed into law his $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill during a ceremony at the White House packed with some 800 supporters, heralding what he said was a “truly consequential” spending bill that will improve Americans’ day-to-day lives. But Democrats also emphasized that there is more to come—a $1.85 trillion […]

Montana could lose $20 million in emergency rental funds next week

BY: - November 12, 2021

Montana could lose a chunk of its federal Emergency Rental Assistance funds next week due to October guidance from the U.S. Department of Treasury that sets minimum expenditure and obligation ratios for states in an effort to speed up the rate of disbursement. The guidance says states that haven’t obligated 65% of the first round […]

Climate funds in infrastructure bill aimed at drought, wildfires, floods, Interior says

BY: - November 10, 2021

The recently passed bipartisan infrastructure bill isn’t just about roads and bridges—it also spends billions to address wildfire, drought, flooding and other effects from climate change, Interior Department officials said Wednesday. The $1.2 trillion measure, which is awaiting President Joe Biden’s signature after the House cleared it last week, includes pay raises for wildland firefighters, funding […]

Early outlook at Montana’s tax revenue is promising

BY: - November 9, 2021

A budget analyst with Legislative Services Division told a promising story to the Revenue Interim Committee on Tuesday about Montana’s new fiscal year but cautioned that’s it is still early. “Long story short, only four months of data, but two that play a very big role in how strong the general fund is at the […]

White House touts clean energy, transit, rail projects in sprawling infrastructure bill

BY: and - November 9, 2021

WASHINGTON—Federal officials on Tuesday offered details about how money from the recently passed bipartisan infrastructure bill would be spent, emphasizing the pending law’s potential to add clean energy capacity. Department of Transportation officials highlighted the $1.2 trillion bill’s record funding for public transit like buses and subways, as well as for Amtrak. They framed the […]

U.S. House sends $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill to Biden for his signature

BY: and - November 7, 2021

WASHINGTON—The U.S. House cleared a $1.2 trillion physical infrastructure bill and took a major step toward passage of a landmark $1.85 trillion social spending and climate bill late Friday, following months of wrangling between Democrats’ progressive and moderate wings. The votes marked a milestone in the marathon negotiations among members of the House Democratic caucus—and […]