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 […]

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 […]