Government & Politics

Under pressure, Montana hospital considers adding psych beds amid a shortage

BY: - September 14, 2021

Gary Popiel had to drive more than 200 miles round trip to visit his adult daughters in separate behavioral health facilities as they received psychiatric and medical treatment. It was 2000, and the family’s only options for inpatient psychiatric beds were in Helena and Missoula — far from their Bozeman, Montana, home and from each […]

Survey: Youth depression high, cigarette smoking low

BY: - September 13, 2021

Roughly 30 percent to 50 percent of high school students in most Montana counties felt so hopeless, they didn’t do normal activities for at least a couple of weeks in the 12 months prior to a spring survey, according to results of the questionnaire. “We’ve not seen data this high before,” said Susan Court, with […]

President Biden in Boise: U.S. can’t ignore drastic consequences of climate change

BY: - September 13, 2021

During his first presidential visit to Idaho, President Joe Biden on Monday said the drastic consequences of climate change have created a need for additional investments in disaster relief and support for wildland firefighters and programs.  “We can’t continue to try to ignore reality,” Biden said during a meeting at the National Interagency Fire Center […]

MT Citizens for Right to Work sues COPP over ‘bizarre law’

BY: - September 13, 2021

In a lawsuit filed Monday, Montana Citizens for Right to Work is asking a U.S. District Court judge to rule that the state’s Clean Campaign Act is unconstitutional and to prevent the Commissioner of Political Practices from prosecuting the political committee over its alleged violations of the law. The group argues in the suit that […]

Faculty, student leaders call for mask, vaccine requirements

BY: - September 13, 2021

One University of Montana student senator talked about being on oxygen in the hospital for four days before the vaccine was available, and another student talked about losing multiple family members to COVID-19, recalled Noah Durnell, student body leader at UM. A call for heightened safety measures across Montana University System campuses is growing as […]

‘Religious’ exemptions add legal thorns to looming vaccine mandates

BY: - September 12, 2021

In Northern California, the pastor of a megachurch hands out religious exemption forms to the faithful. A New Mexico state senator will “help you articulate a religious exemption” by pointing to the decades-old use of aborted fetal cells in the development of some vaccines. And a Texas-based evangelist offers exemption letters to anyone — for […]

‘Cocktail of voter suppression’: Montana youth groups challenge new voting laws

BY: - September 12, 2021

Three youth groups filed a lawsuit on Thursday challenging three recently passed laws they say restrict young Montanans’ access to voting by infringing on voting rights and equal protections guaranteed in the state constitution. The lawsuit, filed in Yellowstone County District Court, calls Senate Bill 169, House Bill 506 and House Bill 176 a “cocktail […]

Billions of housing aid stalled in slow-moving process

BY: - September 12, 2021

  WASHINGTON — Make it simpler to apply for rental assistance money. Allow landlords to apply on behalf of unresponsive tenants. And consolidate two overlapping federal programs aimed at getting financial help to struggling renters. Those were among the proposals that U.S. House members weighed during a hearing Friday on how to better help states and […]

Four big climate items in the reconciliation bill in Congress

BY: - September 10, 2021

The U.S. House Natural Resources Committee late Thursday approved its first piece of Democrats’ sweeping $3.5 trillion spending blueprint on a party-line 24-13 vote. Among the highest priorities for President Joe Biden in the plan was addressing climate change, and the panel included initiatives ranging from oil and gas reform to offshore wind ventures. The […]

Collins under fire for saying Kavanaugh would support Roe v. Wade

BY: - September 10, 2021

Sen. Susan Collins is under fire after the Supreme Court justice she repeatedly argued would respect precedent set by Roe v. Wade cast a decisive vote allowing a near-ban on abortions in Texas to go into effect. Justice Brett Kavanaugh joined other conservative judges in a 5-4 decision that allowed the Texas law — the strictest restriction on abortion in the country […]

Biden to travel to New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia for 9/11 observances

BY: - September 10, 2021

  WASHINGTON—To honor the nearly 3,000 Americans who died 20 years ago on 9/11, President Joe Biden will visit the sites of the terrorist attacks. Biden on Saturday will observe the anniversary in New York City, where hijackers crashed two passenger jets into the World Trade Center, killing ​​2,753 people. He’ll also visit Shanksville, Penn., where 40 people were […]

Cremation rates up, Montana rates beat national average

BY: - September 9, 2021

More and more people in the United States are choosing to be cremated, and Montanans are making the choice way more frequently than the national average, according to Montana State University Extension. In 2020, 79 percent of people who died in Montana were cremated, compared to 56 percent of people who died in the country […]