Gianforte signs permitless carry bill

BY: - February 18, 2021

Gov. Greg Gianforte signed Thursday legislation that greatly increases the places in Montana where people can carry concealed firearms without permits. “Every law-abiding Montanan should be able to defend themselves and their loved ones,” Gianforte said at the signing ceremony. “That’s why today I’m signing HB102 into law.” The governor said Montanans deserve the right […]

Montana could get $1.3 billion in Coronavirus aid

BY: - February 18, 2021

Numbers released today by Congress showed how each state, county and local governments will fare as the House Oversight and Reform Committee released the allocation. Montana could stand to get $1.3 billion in the overall $350 billion that was designated to aid state, county and local government.  Part of the package was $117 million to […]

Boebert objects to ban on guns in U.S. House committee room

BY: - February 18, 2021

WASHINGTON—A U.S. House of Representatives committee meeting devolved into taunts and lectures on Thursday when Republicans, including U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, objected to a rule banning firearms from the hearing room. A meeting to organize the Natural Resources Committee and vote on its rules, generally a staid and dry procedural affair, went off the rails […]

Bill expanding religious freedom defense passes committee

BY: - February 18, 2021

A bill that would strengthen Montanans’ ability to deny services if it substantially burdens their religious beliefs passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday on a 7-4 party-line vote with Republican support. Senate Bill 215 was amended to include the word “substantially” before “burden.” During testimony, opponents noted the modifier is necessary to […]

Committee restores proposed baseline cuts for human services

BY: - February 18, 2021

A proposal by the Republican lawmakers on the subcommittee reviewing the appropriations for health and human services has rolled back their proposal to trim nearly $1 billion from the roughly $3.1 billion budget. Previously, the Joint Subcommittee on Health and Human Services Section B had planned on using 2019 actual numbers as the baseline for […]

Montana’s health policy maven takes her playbook on the road

BY: and - February 18, 2021

Marilyn Bartlett might be the closest thing health policy has to a folk hero. A certified public accountant who barely tops 5 feet, Bartlett bears zero resemblance to Paul Bunyan. But she did take an ax to Montana’s hospital prices in 2016, stopping the state’s employee health plan from bleeding money. “Marilyn is not a […]

Bill would allow children to attend school without vaccines

BY: - February 17, 2021

Wednesday, members of the medical and scientific community blasted a bill that would allow children to attend school without being vaccinated. They repeated concerns —this is a dangerous bill; it puts the public at risk; this is highly concerning — as they challenged a move to expand the definition of immunization to include immunotherapy or […]

Belgrade Rep wants voters to decide when ‘personhood’ begins

BY: - February 17, 2021

Montana voters may have the chance to answer a question the United States Supreme Court intentionally left unresolved in its 1973 Roe V. Wade ruling — when does life begin? House Bill 337, sponsored by Rep. Caleb Hinkle, R-Belgrade, would put a constitutional amendment to the voters in November 2022 to decide if “personhood” begins […]

Fauci: Pandemic was ‘worst nightmare’

BY: - February 17, 2021

The No. 1 question for Dr. Anthony Fauci on Wednesday during the 2021 Mansfield Lecture was this: “When are we going to be back to normal?” Fauci, who spoke to 6,000 people via Zoom during a nearly hour-long question-and-answer session moderated by University of Montana professor Rob Saldin, said he couldn’t offer a precise answer. […]

House committee passes campus ‘freedom of association’ bill

BY: - February 17, 2021

A House panel voted to approve legislation Wednesday that would prevent public university administrations and student governments from giving disparate treatment to student groups based on a group’s ideology, goals or bylaws, one of multiple bills moving through the Legislature this session addressing First Amendment rights on college campuses. The House Judiciary Committee passed the […]

Added COVID-19 testing on the way with $1.6B from the federal government

BY: - February 17, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is directing $1.6 billion to bolster COVID-19 testing nationally, including money to expand testing in schools and homeless shelters, boost supplies needed for testing, and analyze results to more quickly identify new strains of the virus. Roughly $650 million would go toward creating regional coordinating centers, which will partner with labs […]

15 Montana groups add their name to Haaland support letter

BY: - February 17, 2021

More than a dozen Montana organizations and groups have added their name to a letter started by The Wilderness Society which is urging the Senate to confirm former Rep. Deb Haaland of New Mexico to become the next Secretary of the Department of The Interior. Montana Sen. Steve Daines has said he will opposed Haaland’s […]