Bill to ban gender-affirming care in Montana clears key House hurdle

BY: - March 23, 2023

House Democrats pleaded with their Republican colleagues Thursday to stay out of other Montanans’ health care decisions and reject a bill that would ban gender-affirming care for minors and punish providers.  After addressing her colleagues, Rep. Emma Kerr-Carpenter, D-Billings, looked directly into the camera mounted at the front of the chamber, broadcasting the hearing to […]

Rep. Buckley’s Best Beginnings Scholarship expansion moves forward

BY: - March 22, 2023

A bill that aims to expand eligibility for a scholarship that helps lower-income Montanans pay for child care and could help another 723 children is moving forward after some tweaks and a bipartisan vote. Rep. Alice Buckley’s House Bill 648 passed the House Human Services Committee on Friday, as amended, on a 13-8 vote, with six […]

Rep. Greg Frazer, R-Deer Lodge, presents his House Bill 380 to the House Appropriations Committee on Monday, March 20, 2023.

Proponents say homeless provider grant proposal would have positive community impacts

BY: - March 20, 2023

A bill that would provide $2 million over the next biennium in state matching funds to nonprofits and local governments that serve Montana’s homeless population would have positive economic impacts for the communities that receive them beyond what can be measured in the fiscal note, proponents of the measure told the House Appropriations Committee on […]

TikTok ban in Montana, U.S. may be timely, but not necessarily constitutional

BY: - March 19, 2023

It didn’t start with Elvis, but he and his hips didn’t help. The federal government has been pushing back against the First Amendment almost since the time it was established, including when it tried to jail early political dissenters and publishers by passing “seditious libel” acts. Then, the federal government jailed journalists who disagreed with […]

Montana considers new wave of legislation to loosen vaccination rules

BY: - March 18, 2023

When Deb Horning’s youngest daughter was 5, she got her measles, mumps, and rubella shot like many other kindergartners. But unlike many other moms, Horning had to stay away from her daughter for a week after the shot. Horning, 51, was diagnosed in 2014 with acute myeloid leukemia, an aggressive cancer — the five-year survival […]

Bill seeks to increase eligibility, cap copays for families receiving child care scholarships

BY: - March 14, 2023

A bill from Rep. Alice Buckley, D-Bozeman, that has bipartisan support and was heard in committee on Tuesday aims to provide an estimated additional 1,000 children in Montana with Best Beginnings Scholarship program eligibility to offset child care costs for low-income Montana families. House Bill 648 puts the Best Beginnings program into statute, increases the […]

After debate on the floor, grant for the unhoused passes first hurdle in the House

BY: - March 10, 2023

Heavy snowfall could be seen outside the windows of the House floor as Montana representatives debated providing funding for shelters for the unhoused around the state. Rep. Neil Duram, R-Eureka, said Friday as he looked outside it was “inconvenient” to be homeless in Montana. Duram spoke in opposition to House Bill 380, which would allocate […]

Groups take out Helena billboard, criticize bison hunt near Yellowstone National Park

BY: - March 8, 2023

Two environmental groups are calling on officials to stop the slaughter and hunting of bison that wander outside the boundaries of Yellowstone National Park, taking their message to lawmakers with a billboard showing hunters killing the animals at point-blank range. The billboard in Helena, put up by Roam Free Nation and the Alliance for the […]

First grizzly bear of the season spotted in Yellowstone National Park

BY: - March 7, 2023

MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, Wyoming – On Tuesday, a Yellowstone National Park wildlife biologist on a radio telemetry flight observed the first grizzly bear of 2023 to emerge from hibernation. The adult bear, estimated at 300-350 pounds, was seen near the remains of a bison carcass in Pelican Valley, in the central-eastern part of the park. […]

As fentanyl scourge spreads, authorities worry about a new drug, animal ‘tranq’

BY: - March 7, 2023

As a dangerous new additive found in fentanyl and other street drugs surges from coast to coast, health officials in nearly every state are scrambling to track it. Xylazine, a large-animal tranquilizer not approved for human use, started showing up routinely in the drug supply in 2019, but didn’t take off until the coronavirus pandemic […]

Charles ‘Chuck’ Johnson, tower of Montana journalism, dies

BY: - March 6, 2023

Charles S. Johnson, retired Montana reporter, Capitol bureau chief, and longtime mentor to journalists, has died, the Helena Independent Record reported Monday. “Johnson’s wife, Pat, told friends he was supposed to have dinner over the weekend with his relatives and, when he did not show, ‘they did a welfare check and found him gone,’ friends […]

Looming cuts to emergency ‘food stamp’ benefits threaten food security in rural America

BY: - March 6, 2023

ELKO, Nev. — On a cold morning in early February, Tammy King prepared and loaded boxes and bags of vegetables, fruits, milk, frozen meat and snacks into cars lined up outside the Friends in Service Helping food pantry, known in rural northeastern Nevada as “FISH.” The beginning of the month is busy for the food […]