Government & Politics

Biden’s nominees for labor and education move forward

BY: - February 11, 2021

WASHINGTON—Miguel Cardona was one step closer to leading the U.S. Department of Education on Thursday after the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee moved his nomination to the full Senate for a vote. The panel voted 17-5. Senators also voted 18-4 to advance the nomination of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh to serve as secretary of […]

Tax credit program to cost $9M

BY: - February 11, 2021

The price tag during the course of four years for the state of Montana to run a greatly expanded schools tax credit program would be nearly $9 million, according to a budget analysis attached to House Bill 279. “Talk about growing government,” said Amanda Curtis, president of the Montana Federation of Public Employees, in a […]

Biden administration may reconsider BLM’s move to Colorado

BY: - February 11, 2021

The Biden administration is reviewing the Bureau of Land Management headquarters’ recent move from Washington, D.C., to western Colorado, even as the state’s congressional delegation has united in a bipartisan pushback to any attempt to reverse the decision. An Interior Department spokesperson said this week that the department’s “new leadership will work with BLM career […]

DPHHS nominee faces questions over Kentucky disease outbreak, Medicaid work requirements

BY: - February 11, 2021

Lawmakers pressed Wednesday Gov. Greg Gianforte’s nominee to head the Department of Public Health and Human Services on his stances from everything ranging from Medicaid to tribal healthcare to his home state’s handling of a Hepatitis outbreak. More than 30 individuals applied to head up DPPHS, the state’s largest agency, Lt. Gov. Kristen Juras told […]

Trump voters splitting from GOP to launch ‘Patriot Party’

BY: - February 11, 2021

WASHINGTON — Former President Donald Trump may have stepped back for now from the idea of creating a new political party, but that hasn’t stopped diehard Trump fans disillusioned with the Republican Party from creating Patriot Parties of their own all across the country. Onetime Trump voters in Florida, Georgia, Colorado, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio […]

Trump’s Missoula rally puts Montana in impeachment spotlight

BY: - February 11, 2021

The second impeachment trial of former President Donald J. Trump reached all the way from the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., to the Montana Capitol on Thursday – some 2,223 miles away – as House impeachment managers used Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte’s assault and Trump’s praise of it to build a case that the 45th […]

Is Montana ready for nuclear power?

BY: - February 11, 2021

With the clock running at Colstrip, the ever-changing and often gloomy outlook for Montana’s energy environment has policymakers casting about for solutions.  Among these is an effort supported by the state’s utility companies to facilitate the development of nuclear power by removing the requirement that the voters approve all new major nuclear projects in Montana […]

Bill to change Supreme Court races gets first hearing in House Judiciary

BY: - February 10, 2021

Billings Republican Rep. Barry Usher is trying to revive a previously failed effort to change how Montana elects its state Supreme Court justices. Usher introduced House Bill 325, which would send the voters a legislative referendum to decide if they want state or district-wide supreme court elections, to the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. He argued […]

Voter ID bill passes Senate vote

BY: - February 10, 2021

A proposal to make Montana’s voter identification laws more stringent has received preliminary approval in the state Senate, another step forward for a series of “election integrity” bills supported by Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen and the governor’s office. SB169, sponsored by Sen. Mike Cuffe, R-Eureka, builds on existing state law that requires voters casting […]

Bill would provide statewide family, medical leave

BY: - February 10, 2021

A proposal that would create statewide paid medical and family leave for all employees and employers had its first hearing on Wednesday morning. The bill is similar to one that was presented in each of the last two legislative sessions. Rep. Moffie Funk, D-Helena, presented House Bill 228, which would require employees and employers to […]

Gov. Gianforte to rescind statewide mask mandate Friday

BY: - February 10, 2021

Gov. Greg Gianforte announced Wednesday that he will let the statewide mask mandate expire Friday.  The announcement comes the same day the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new research showing that wearing tight-fit masks, or even two masks increases protection against COVID-19. The directive will not bar local jurisdictions from implementing their own […]

Bills extending trapping season and allowing snaring of wolves pass second reading in the house

BY: - February 10, 2021

Two bills aiming to increase Montanans’ ability to hunt wolves passed second readings on the House floor Wednesday. House Bills 224 and 225 would allow for the snaring of wolves and extend wolf trapping season dates. Rep. Paul Fielder, R-Thompson Falls, sponsors both bills. As it stands now, registered trappers can use footholds to trap […]