Government & Politics

USDA to spend $500 million extending high-speed internet to rural America

BY: - September 22, 2022

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will send more than $500 million in loans and grants to telecommunications providers to bring high-speed internet to rural areas across 20 states, Secretary Tom Vilsack said Wednesday. The department will spend $360 million in grants and $141 million in loans through its ReConnect Program to benefit sparsely populated communities, […]

Misogyny is fueling the country’s gun violence epidemic, experts say

BY: - September 22, 2022

Dawn Gillard’s life revolved around her children. Everyone who loved her knew that. The rest of the world would read about it in her obituary. On May 27, Gillard was shot and killed at age 40 alongside her three young children: Katelynn, 6; Ronald, 4; and Joshua, 3, at a home in Austin Township, a […]

Medical professionals, patients speak out against ‘born alive’ referendum

BY: - September 21, 2022

Lea Bossler said it was the perfect spring day last year, when her daughter Maesyn breathed fresh air on her own, with no tape or tubes on her face, for the first and last time. “It was three hours of the most beautiful yet devastating heartbreak, but it was peaceful, not traumatic,” Bossler said. Bossler’s […]

Justices halt voting laws, temporarily bringing back Election Day voting, college IDs

BY: - September 21, 2022

For now, Election Day voting and using college or university identification to vote will stand as the Montana Supreme Court narrowly upheld a Yellowstone County District Court judge’s temporary injunction on two laws passed by the 2021 Montana Legislature. In a 4-3 split decision, Justice Laurie McKinnon wrote the decision for the majority, while Justice […]

More than 100K Montanans eligible for student debt relief, according to White House projections

BY: - September 21, 2022

More than 10 percent of Montanans will be eligible to receive student debt relief through Biden’s student loan forgiveness initiative, according to new data from the White House. A breakdown of eligible recipients shows that about 120,400 Montanans will qualify for debt relief; of that number, 78,600 Montanans who received Pell Grants are eligible for […]

Commission votes to reallocate $6 million in workforce training funds to business automation program

BY: - September 21, 2022

Lawmakers on an advisory commission voted this week to reallocate $6 million in workforce training funds to an automation loan program for businesses in the state, with several members of the public in opposition. Liane Taylor of the Department of Commerce said that training funds had not been utilized, with nearly $1.2 million awarded to […]

Lawmakers use state resources in political campaigns (and, it’s legal … for now)

BY: - September 21, 2022

Montana state Sen. David Howard, R-Park City, is termed out from running again, but that isn’t stopping him from one last campaign this year. At taxpayer expense. Just a day after the Park City School District pushed out information about a school levy campaign, Howard sent a letter on Montana Senate letterhead to constituents, using […]

Asylum seekers sue Gov. DeSantis, others, over their airlift to Martha’s Vineyard

BY: - September 21, 2022

Three of the roughly 50 Venezuelan asylum seekers airlifted by the DeSantis administration from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard last week have filed a federal class action alleging illegal seizure, false arrest, violation of due process and other federal offenses. The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, names Gov. […]

Q&A with Ali Alexander, organizer of ‘Stop the Steal’ protests before Jan. 6

BY: - September 21, 2022

OMAHA — Conservative political activist and provocateur Ali Alexander chose Nebraska to give what he called his first public speech since organizing “Stop the Steal” rallies in the run-up to Jan. 6, 2021, when more than 2,000 people stormed the U.S. Capitol as Congress certified the 2020 presidential election results. Alexander, a Texas resident who […]

Auditors find registered felons living at childcare locations; funding not getting to families

BY: - September 20, 2022

The Montana Legislative Audit Division released a report Tuesday that analyzed the state’s Department of Public Health and Human Service’s work in childcare funding and found that department had instances where people convicted of sexual or violent offenses were living at the same place as childcare facilities. The performance audit also determined the department lacked […]

Montana AG raises concerns about credit card companies tracking firearm purchases

BY: - September 20, 2022

Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen is leading a group of attorneys general in calling out a handful of financial institutions for a new policy that would track and monitor firearm purchases. At the center of the coalition’s ire is recent action taken by the International Organization for Standardization —  a worldwide federation of national standards […]

District Court judge rules three laws, including trans-athlete ban, unconstitutional

BY: - September 20, 2022

A district court judge struck down three laws that passed in the 2021 Montana Legislature related to college campuses, ruling them unconstitutional, according to a filing in Gallatin County last week. The three bills included the controversial House Bill 112, which banned transgender athletes from participating in collegiate women’s sports, House Bill 349 related to […]