That 1% cut in federal spending in the debt limit law? It’s complicated.

BY: - August 17, 2023

WASHINGTON — The debt limit law Congress approved earlier this year included a much-publicized provision that would cut all federal spending by 1% if Republicans and Democrats fail to reach agreement on the dozen government funding bills before Jan. 1. That sounds pretty threatening. But, the across-the-board automatic spending cut wouldn’t actually have any real-world […]

Farm bill timeline in flux as a messy September for Congress nears

BY: - August 15, 2023

WASHINGTON — The roundtables, listening sessions and appearances at farm shows have largely wrapped up and lawmakers tasked with reauthorizing the nation’s agriculture and nutrition programs are comparing notes and beginning to draft the massive, multi-year farm bill. The 2018 version expires Sept. 30, just as many urgent priorities compete for floor time in Congress […]

Former Montana revenue director says property tax system ‘rigged,’ ‘broken’

BY: - August 14, 2023

Homeowners and renters in Montana are about to experience the largest property tax increase in history — and it’s by design, said Dan Bucks, former head of the Montana Department of Revenue. They’ll pay nearly $200 million more altogether, Bucks said. On the other hand, he said, large entities such as telecommunications companies received a […]

New affordable housing model gives 75-year-old poet permanent home

BY: - August 9, 2023

When Gary Lundy first moved to Missoula, he paid the rent on his Northside apartment sight unseen, at least in person. He didn’t get the key for maybe a week. When he did, he figured the home a half block from the train tracks was meant to be. “The key was a fairy, and I […]

States seek to let teens as young as 14 serve booze in restaurants

BY: - August 7, 2023

WASHINGTON — As a former bartender and current tipped worker, Trupti Patel knows that customers tend to get grabby when there is alcohol involved. After working in the food service industry for more than a decade, she is accustomed to dealing with drunk customers who get out of hand, especially if they become belligerent or […]

New affordable housing model preserves home for native Missoulian

BY: - August 7, 2023

Reid Reimers grew up in Missoula, and his 92-year-old grandma still lives in the Garden City. His father was part of the first class of students at a school that became Sentinel High. Reimers, 41, has roots here. Now, after having moved umpteen times in the same town in just a few years and having […]

‘Loved to death:’ New report says tourism that drives the state’s economy can hurt local cities

BY: - August 3, 2023

We may be loving Montana to death. Literally. A new report, published by Headwaters Economics, which specializes in studying, researching and policies for the western U.S., has recently released, “Amenity Trap: How high-amenity communities can avoid being loved to death.” Its authors conclude that, while not focusing on Montana solely, the Treasure State is a […]

Split in U.S. House GOP raises potential for government shutdown this fall

BY: - August 2, 2023

WASHINGTON — Members of Congress jetted off for the August recess without a plan in place to avoid a partial government shutdown when the new fiscal year begins Oct. 1 — and the lawmakers who write spending bills acknowledge that it’s a real possibility, given deep divisions. The stalemate stems from a split among House […]

‘We should not fear a government shutdown’: Far-right U.S. House members slam spending bills

BY: - July 25, 2023

WASHINGTON — A handful of ultra-conservative U.S. House Republicans rebuked their leadership on Tuesday over the annual government funding process, but appeared at odds on whether they should force a government shutdown later this year. Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs at a news conference mostly ruled out a funding lapse, though Virginia Rep. Bob Good left […]

States, cities turn to community organizations to battle wage theft

BY: - July 9, 2023

About five years ago, most of Minneapolis’ Subway, Little Caesars and McDonald’s franchise restaurants did not comply with city wage standards. Now workers at each of the locations that violated the law receive the required minimum wage and time off when they’re sick. This is all thanks to a co-enforcement program, where the city’s labor […]

Vulnerable U.S. House Republicans who opposed student debt plan targeted in 2024 

BY: - July 6, 2023

WASHINGTON — Supporters of student loan debt cancellation are organizing to hold GOP lawmakers “accountable” in the 2024 election cycle following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling blocking President Joe Biden’s debt relief plan. The left-leaning Protect Borrowers Action will target 13 U.S. House districts across California, Colorado, Michigan, Nebraska, New York, Oregon and Pennsylvania where […]

Dollar stores, giant grocery chains push healthy food out of reach for many, activists say

BY: - July 4, 2023

“Efficiency” is a frequent justification for allowing corporations to consolidate vast swathes of the marketplace. But when it comes to food, huge grocery chains and ubiquitous dollar stores are limiting some rural and urban communities’ access to healthy food at the same time they bankrupt the farmers who produce it, members of a virtual panel […]