Government & Politics

Stark racial disparities exist for vaccination rates across U.S.

BY: , and - May 20, 2021

Black Americans’ covid-19 vaccination rates are still lagging months into the nation’s campaign, while Hispanics are closing the gap and Native Americans show the highest rates overall, according to federal data obtained by Kaiser Health News. The data, provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in response to a public records request, gives […]

Superintendent Arntzen recommends rescinding mask mandate for remainder of school year

BY: - May 19, 2021

Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen recommended in a memo Wednesday that school districts rescind mask mandates not only for the upcoming academic year but for the remainder of the current school year. “In light of the changes occurring across the state, as we move into the 2021-2022 school year, the OPI (Office of Public […]

U.S. House passes commission to probe Jan. 6 attack, but may not have Senate support

BY: - May 19, 2021

WASHINGTON—The U.S. House voted Wednesday 252-175 to give the go-ahead to the formation of an independent, bipartisan commission that would investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, despite objections from Republican leaders that the scope of the commission was not wide enough and other investigations are ongoing. Thirty-five Republicans joined with Democrats in […]

Not one usable vaccine from plant in Baltimore which received millions in federal aid

BY: - May 19, 2021

WASHINGTON — Angry U.S. House Democrats on Wednesday had one key question as they grilled executives of a Maryland biotech manufacturer forced to dump 15 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine: Has there been one usable vaccine dose produced as a result of the $271 million paid to date by the U.S. government? […]

Gianforte names COVID-19 aid steering groups as lawmakers parse through new federal guidance

BY: - May 19, 2021

A series of commissions formed to direct how Montana spends billions in federal COVID-19 aid dollars as part of the American Rescue Plan Act are beginning to kick into gear. Gov. Greg Gianforte announced appointments to the four commissions on Wednesday. Each focuses on a different subsection of ARPA: infrastructure, communications and broadband, economic transformation […]

Montana AG accuses Supreme Court of impropriety, threatening and maligning his staff

BY: - May 19, 2021

Montana’s top lawyer fired back Wednesday at the Montana Supreme Court, sending the sitting justices a letter that accuses them of threatening lawyers on his staff, and chides them for “incorrect and inappropriate” behavior. In a letter obtained by the Daily Montanan, Attorney General Austin Knudsen responded to a ruling last week by the high […]

U.S. House condemns Atlanta shootings and Asian American racism

BY: - May 19, 2021

WASHINGTON—The U.S. House on Wednesday passed a resolution condemning the March 16 mass shooting in Atlanta and reaffirming Congress’ commitment to combating racism and violence against the Asian American community, which has seen a spike in hate crimes since the onset of the pandemic. The resolution, H.Res. 275, passed, 244-180, though more than a dozen Republicans argued […]

Updated: Regents direct Commissioner to pursue HB102 legal challenge

BY: - May 19, 2021

After hearing an “unprecedented” amount of public comment, the Montana Board of Regents voted Wednesday to ask the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education to go to court over House Bill 102. The Board of Regents approved the resolution on a unanimous voice vote. A lawsuit will ask the courts to decide if the […]

Gianforte signs HB701, beginning new chapter for marijuana legalization in Montana

BY: - May 18, 2021

Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte on Tuesday signed House Bill 701, landmark legislation that implements and regulates the recreational marijuana program that voters approved in a ballot initiative last year and funds a substance abuse prevention program that the new governor has championed since his first days in office. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Mike Hopkins, […]

Lawsuit demanding partial refund of fees for MSU students moves toward class-action

BY: - May 18, 2021

Anthony Cordero couldn’t go to the library last year at Montana State University in Bozeman, and he had to take his courses online. But Cordero, enrolled at MSU last spring, wasn’t offered a partial refund for the tuition and fees he paid when the flagship shut down in-person classes and activities after the pandemic hit. […]

Gianforte signs Colstrip fuel mix bill vetoed under Bullock

BY: - May 18, 2021

Gov. Greg Gianforte last week signed House Bill 648, legislation quietly amended in the latter days of the 2021 legislative session to allow power plant operators at Colstrip to buy coal from a new source with limited environmental oversight. Environmental groups, Westmoreland Mining, which operates the Rosebud mine that currently supplies Colstrip, and the union […]

District judge blocks legislative subpoena for communications of Supreme Court justice

BY: - May 18, 2021

A Helena District Court judge granted a preliminary injunction Monday on a subpoena seeking private and professional communications of Supreme Court Justice Jim Rice, saying that the Legislature overstepped its investigative and constitutional authorities. In the ruling, District Judge Michael McMahon said the legislative subpoena exceeds its authority and unconstitutionally interferes with the powers of […]