Economy

Democrats from the West push update of 150-year-old federal mining law

BY: - May 10, 2022

Democrats in Congress are hoping to overhaul the nation’s 150-year-old system for mining the elements needed for battery manufacturing, as high gas prices and Russia’s war in Ukraine underline the need to transition from oil and gas to renewable energy sources. U.S. House Natural Resources Chairman Raúl Grijalva of Arizona and U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich […]

Montana has distributed $56M in rental assistance, given back $53M

BY: - May 9, 2022

Housing officials with the State of Montana literally could not spend more money on housing assistance, including the “Emergency Rental Assistance” federal relief. And it’s not for lack of trying. While Montana has so far had to return more than $53 million to the federal government that was designated for emergency rental assistance, the program’s […]

Thieves hit on a new fraud: Synthetic identity theft

BY: - May 9, 2022

In fall 2020, 43-year-old Adam Arena and a dozen suspected co-conspirators were indicted in New York on charges of trying to swindle banks out of more than $1 million through a scheme known as “synthetic identity fraud.” They combined real Social Security numbers with mismatched or phony names to create new identities, according to investigators. […]

Bernie Sanders at U.S. Senate hearing rips Amazon over union opposition

BY: - May 5, 2022

WASHINGTON — Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders took Amazon to task Thursday at a congressional hearing, bashing the online giant’s leadership for fighting union drives and questioning whether the federal government should continue contracting with the multibillion-dollar company. Amazon executives didn’t attend the hearing but U.S. senators did hear from labor unions and the U.S. Government […]

Avian flu strikes more than 78K Montana birds

BY: - May 4, 2022

Montana is one of 32 states that has reported Highly Pathogenic Avian Flu this year. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, on Wednesday, the highly contagious, highly deadly bird disease has killed more than 78,000 birds in the state, but it poses little, if any, risk to humans. And while Montana’s numbers pale in […]

Montana property tax initiative off to a slow start

BY: - May 3, 2022

Proponents of Constitutional Initiative 121 are off to a slow start, with few signatures collected and little money raised. “The biggest factor for folks like us who do not have paid signature gatherers is the weather,” said Matthew Monforton, an officer with the Cap Montana Property Taxes committee, noting the cool month of April. “We […]

Democratic leaders in Congress want more power for regulators over high gasoline prices

BY: - May 2, 2022

WASHINGTON —  Democratic leaders in Congress critical of soaring gasoline prices say they will push legislation to allow the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general to go after oil companies that engage in price gouging in times of crisis. “Big oil has profited in this (and) has exploited the market,” House Speaker Nancy […]

Rising construction costs stall affordable housing projects

BY: - May 2, 2022

To start building an 80-unit affordable housing project in Texas, real estate developer MVAH Partners must find a way to fill a $3 million financing gap due to the rising cost of construction. MVAH Partners received federal tax credits in February of last year to build the apartments. Since then, however, building material and labor […]

Meatpackers deny price fixing for beef

BY: - April 28, 2022

The record profits for meatpackers in the past two years were the result of market conditions during the coronavirus pandemic, along with increased consumer demand, according to leaders of the country’s four large meatpacking companies. The meatpacking executives defended their business practices during a lengthy congressional committee hearing on Wednesday. U.S. Rep. David Scott, D-Georgia, […]

Parents worried Montana to miss out on $36M, Missoula Food Bank sees busiest month in 40 years

BY: - April 25, 2022

People worried about Montana losing out on $36.6 million in money for children this summer continue to advocate that the state submit a plan to secure the federal funds for food. “We’re definitely aware that it’s important to parents,” said Wren Greaney, advocacy coordinator with the Montana Food Bank Network. “We heard from previous rounds […]

Montana sees $72 million of spending in state from ‘Yellowstone’ TV series

BY: - April 20, 2022

Season four of “Yellowstone,” which was filmed near Missoula and the Bitterroot Valley, brought in $72 million of qualified spending to the state in 2021. The report produced by the University of Montana’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research showed that Montana’s economy with “Yellowstone” resulted in 527 more jobs, $25.3 million in annual personal […]

Missoula Organization of Realtors: Buyers paying cash, supply at “all time low”

BY: - April 19, 2022

Last year, one in every five homes in Missoula sold for cash, and supply is at an all time low, according to the Missoula Organization of Realtors. Pressure continues to build in the housing market in communities across Montana, but few solutions — more homes — are coming on line in Missoula compared to the […]