New report shows healthcare drives much of Montana economy

BY: - June 9, 2021

A new comprehensive report, several years in the making, has been released by the Montana Hospital Association and shows that healthcare systems statewide make up the single largest economic sector by volume, accounting for more than 83,000 jobs, and pay more than $6 billion in personal income, roughly 13 percent of the total. The report, […]

ARPA steering group recommends $102 million in COVID aid healthcare programs

BY: - June 3, 2021

A state commission Thursday recommended approval of more than $100 million in federally funded COVID-19 relief programs under the umbrella of public health and healthcare, one of the first significant allocation of funds in Montana from the American Rescue Plan Act. A steering group of lawmakers and appointees from the executive branch — among them […]

Tester touts ARPA relief in Helena trip

BY: - June 1, 2021

Paul Mabie and his husband put everything on the line to launch the Oddfellow Inn and Farm on a patch of agricultural land outside of Helena in July of 2019. Less than a year later, the pandemic threatened to take it all away from the couple, also partners in the business. “We would have probably […]

Montana Board of Housing narrows list of projects for federal affordable housing tax credit

BY: - May 26, 2021

The Montana Board of Housing this week chose eight affordable rental properties across the state to apply for federal affordable housing tax credits available in 2022 totaling almost $29 million, it said in a news release Wednesday. The board received preliminary applications from 14 low-income senior and multifamily housing project developers interested in receiving a […]

From electric buses to asphalt: Congress jockeys for federal transportation cash

BY: and - May 21, 2021

WASHINGTON — The nearly $1 billion that U.S. Rep. Garret Graves is seeking through Congress’ revamped earmarks process isn’t a typo. The Louisiana Republican says Baton Rouge desperately needs a new bridge to alleviate a crush of roadway congestion — at a cost of $955.2 million for several projects. That far exceeds the $20 million that […]

UPDATED: KIDS COUNT: Child care critical to modern Montana economy

BY: - May 21, 2021

Last year, Montana counted one licensed child care slot for every three children under the age of 6. If looking at only children with all parents working, Montana meets the need of 48 percent of children who need care. Those are two statistics from the Montana KIDS COUNT report released Thursday from the Montana Budget […]

Gianforte signs $12.6B budget

BY: - May 20, 2021

Gov. Greg Gianforte on Thursday signed the state’s $12.6 billion biennial spending plan, fulfilling the Legislature’s sole constitutional authority and enshrining tax and spending cuts that he and allied lawmakers championed this session. The budget comes in more than $100 million slimmer than the proposal that Gianforte brought to the Legislature at the beginning of […]

Gianforte signs HB701, beginning new chapter for marijuana legalization in Montana

BY: - May 18, 2021

Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte on Tuesday signed House Bill 701, landmark legislation that implements and regulates the recreational marijuana program that voters approved in a ballot initiative last year and funds a substance abuse prevention program that the new governor has championed since his first days in office. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Mike Hopkins, […]

Gianforte signs $275 million broadband bill

BY: - May 11, 2021

Gov. Greg Gianforte signed an ambitious, federally funded broadband expansion package Tuesday, enacting a $275 million investment with pledges to close Montana’s digital divide and shake its slump as one of the least connected states in the country. The bill, SB297, leverages COVID-19 aid dollars available from the federal American Rescue Plan Act to improve […]

Rosebud mine owner, union ask for veto on Colstrip fuel source bill

BY: - May 10, 2021

The mining company that supplies the Colstrip power plant with coal is requesting that Gov. Greg Gianforte veto legislation that would exempt the plant operator from compliance with certain state environmental regulations if it seeks to alter fuel sources used at the plant, meaning that Colstrip would circumvent environmental and economic impact reviews, among other […]

More than $350B in federal recovery funds starts rolling out

BY: - May 10, 2021

WASHINGTON — States, cities and counties can begin to tap their share of the $350 billion in federal funds intended to spur a national recovery from the economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic, White House officials announced Monday. The Biden administration said the much-anticipated money, which was included in the massive relief law enacted earlier this […]

Montana to axe expanded unemployment benefits funded by feds, create back-to-work cash bonus

BY: - May 4, 2021

The state Department of Labor and Industry on Tuesday paired its announcement of a new direct payment-based workforce incentive created from federal COVID-19 aid with news that Montana will soon be the first state to decline federally-funded, expanded unemployment insurance benefits related to the pandemic, increased payments that would otherwise be available through September. This […]