Government & Politics

Butte protesters say Rosendale yelled, made obscene gesture; Freshman Rep denies reports

BY: - March 16, 2021

When union members and supporters showed up in Butte to picket U.S. Rep. Matt Rosendale, Montana’s only member of the U.S. House of Representatives, they said they wanted answers about his lack of support for unions and the massive $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill. They got answers, but not the ones they expected. At least […]

COVID-19 ranks No. 3 in cause of death for Montana in 2020

BY: - March 16, 2021

Maybe nowhere in Montana does COVID-19’s impact appear more profound than the annual report that compiles the leading causes of death in the state. According to that yearly report, COVID was the third-leading cause of death in Montana in 2020, accounting for nearly 10 percent of all deaths. Moreover, the mortality rate for all causes […]

Coming soon to Montana — vaccine passports to show you’re inoculated

BY: - March 16, 2021

WASHINGTON — More than 70 million Americans have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine — and along with that shot, a small paper card with the CDC’s label detailing the timing and manufacturer of the dose. Those paper cards at the moment are the only proof to Americans of their vaccination against […]

Montana to open vaccine eligibility to 16 and older starting April 1

BY: - March 16, 2021

Montana announced Tuesday that everyone 16 years and older will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine starting April 1, beating the federal deadline by one month. Gov. Greg Gianforte announced the expanded eligibility at a press conference Tuesday. You do not need a Montana state ID to receive the vaccine. On March 8, Montana […]

COVID relief plan from Congress creates push to spend more than $900 million in Helena

BY: - March 15, 2021

The Legislature on Monday began the highly intricate (and condensed) process of appropriating around $1 billion in federal COVID-19 relief funds as part of the American Rescue Plan Act, the most recent virus aid package to come out of Congress and the first in the Biden era. When the dust settles, Montana could be getting […]

‘We’ve all experienced discrimination’: Hundreds gather at Capitol to oppose RFRA and transgender bills

BY: - March 15, 2021

Every week at the legislature, LGBTQ and transgender rights activists show up at the Capitol to testify in committee hearings and voice their disapproval of several bills they say target their freedoms and civil rights. On Monday, they showed up en masse for the first time this session to tell lawmakers to cut it out. […]

Senate confirms Haaland as Secretary of The Interior

BY: - March 15, 2021

WASHINGTON—U.S. Rep. Debra Haaland made history on Monday when she became the first Native American to ever be confirmed by the U.S. Senate to hold a position in a president’s Cabinet. In a narrow 51-40 vote, senators confirmed Haaland, a New Mexico Democrat, to serve as secretary of Interior, where she will run a $21 […]

Out-of-state telehealth threatens in-state providers

BY: - March 15, 2021

When the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation began offering telehealth services in Montana in early February, the nation’s largest nonprofit addiction treatment provider promised quality care for far-flung residents without their even having to leave home. That promise was what Montana and more than 40 other states had in mind when they temporarily relaxed rules restricting […]

States question whether new federal stimulus law rules out tax cuts

BY: - March 13, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden’s massive pandemic stimulus law pumps a welcome infusion of federal aid into state and local government coffers — but one brief section is raising questions about whether states are barred from cutting their own taxes if they accept the federal help. The Senate added language to the COVID-19 relief package prohibiting […]

Tribal liaison positions restored; continuous enrollment policy for CHIP, Medicaid cut

BY: and - March 12, 2021

Lawmakers charged with crafting the budget voted for an amendment on Friday that would restore a pair of tribal liaison positions in the Department of Public Health and Human Services, reversing cuts that Democrats and indigenous Montanans have been agitating against throughout the session. However, the House Appropriations Committee voted to forge ahead with its […]

House committee approves amendment increasing income tax cuts

BY: - March 12, 2021

A House panel on Friday approved and expanded a bill from the governor’s office to cut the top income tax rate, more than doubling the likely cost of the cut to state revenues. The vote came as the committee considered three of the governor’s flagship tax cut proposals, though the House Taxation Committee ultimately decided […]

‘Cynically driven’: Experts question Montana’s lawsuit challenging change in federal immigration policy

BY: - March 12, 2021

Immigration experts say because of the low number of undocumented people in Montana and how Congress and the executive branch dictate federal immigration policies that a lawsuit filed by the state against the Department of Homeland Security is a frivolous endeavor. “I think [the lawsuits] are cynically driven to exacerbate cultural wars … I think […]