Stafman follows divine flow to the Legislature

BY: - February 21, 2021

The first question of Jewish law that Representative Ed Stafman had to settle following the beginning of his tenure as a rabbi at Congregation Beth Shalom in Bozeman was, naturally, related to fishing. Is it, as a person of the Jewish faith, ethical to catch a fish and release it back into the river, a […]

Property tax relief for lower income people tabled

BY: - February 12, 2021

Republicans in the Senate Taxation Committee tabled Friday a bill designed to give lower income homeowners, renters or people in high-cost areas some property tax relief. Sen. Jill Cohenour, D-East Helena, said Senate Bill 10 came out of the interim revenue committee, and as amended, it had reached a monetary level Gov. Greg Gianforte could […]

Land transfer bill gets new life in 2021 session

BY: - February 9, 2021

The Legislature is again considering a proposal to ban the sale of federal land transferred to the state by an act of Congress, something that opponents fear is a clandestine effort to — paradoxically — open the state’s public lands to sale. HB320 is an “oldie but a goldie,” a rerun from a slate of […]

‘Zoom boom’ housing demand may be here for years

BY: and - February 7, 2021

It hit Billings real estate broker Mark Dawson in a furniture store, of all places. The owner of one of the largest brokerages in Montana’s largest city, Century 21 Hometown, Dawson was discussing Billings with a furniture salesperson as he was shopping. Turns out, business was booming for both of them. That’s when the salesperson […]

Fill ‘er up: Bill would make curbside alcohol pick-up permanent

BY: - February 2, 2021

If you like picking up beer or cocktails “to go” during the pandemic, you’ll be able to keep doing so if House Bill 226 passes. “I’ve heard this dubbed the ‘drive-through Margarita’ bill, but none of those businesses exist,” said Rep. Katie Zolnikov, R-Billings. Tuesday, the House Business and Labor committee held a hearing on […]

Inclusionary zoning on the chopping block in House

BY: - February 2, 2021

Montana realtors and home builders are gathering behind a bill that would effectively ban one of the tools that cities and towns use to create more affordable housing.  House Bill 259, carried by House Majority Leader Sue Vinton, specifically prevents municipalities in Montana from requiring that housing is sold at a certain price or targeted […]

Comforting the afflicted: Chaplains see everything during COVID

BY: - January 31, 2021

Sometimes, Jesus sounds a lot like Elvis Presley. More specifically, like Elvis’ “Blue Christmas.” Spiritual Care Director Karen Brannon at St. Vincent Healthcare in Billings remembers providing a different kind of spiritual care to a patient who was hospitalized in intensive care with COVID-19. The patient loved Christmas music and Elvis, but during the holidays […]

Pandemic sends Bozeman couple into indefinite long distance though just miles apart

BY: - January 29, 2021

BOZEMAN– Every Sunday afternoon, Suzan Mubarak keeps an eye on her phone. That is when her boyfriend will call to let her know he’s outside her house for their weekly wave. Mubarak, 31, and Mitch Domier, 43, live a few miles apart in Bozeman, Montana, but those drive-by visits are the closest the couple has […]

GOP blasts Fudge for partisanship during confirmation hearings

BY: - January 28, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden’s pick to run the Department of Housing and Urban Development faced questions from Republicans about her past comments critical of their party during her confirmation hearing Thursday. U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge, a Democrat who represents Ohio’s 11th District, pledged to the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee that if […]

Is density the solution to Montana’s affordability problem?

BY: - January 27, 2021

A Montana lawmaker is pushing a solution called “upzoning” to the state’s housing affordability crisis. This movement, popular in a number of areas with urbanists, housing advocates and the Twitterati, would apply to many of the state’s fast-growing municipalities, whether or not they’re on board. Upzoning is the process of tinkering with zoning codes in […]