News

Montana Dems tout three healthcare bills

BY: - January 13, 2021

After last week’s proposal by legislative Republicans to establish a baseline budget for the state’s health and human services budget $1 billion lower than what fellow GOP Gov. Greg Gianforte recommended, the Democrats offered their vision of legislation that would help Montanans. On Wednesday, a group of lawmakers presented three bills that would change healthcare […]

Gov. Greg Gianforte announces board appointments

BY: - January 13, 2021

In a news release sent out Wednesday evening, Gov. Greg Gianforte announced appointments to the Board Environmental Review, the Transportation Commission, the Fish and Wildlife Commission and the State Parks and Recreation Board. Below are the following appointments provided by Gianforte’s office: Board of Environmental Review Steven P. Ruffatto, Columbus. Qualification: Hydrology. Ruffatto has been an […]

House committee signs off on new loans for affordable rentals

BY: - January 13, 2021

A legislative panel voted Wednesday to double the amount of money that the state can loan to developers of rental homes for low and middle-income Montanans — a move that advocates say is a small step towards addressing the state’s growing affordable housing crisis.  The House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday recommended passage of the bill, […]

Gianforte announces directive to lift capacity and hour restrictions of bars and restaurants

BY: - January 13, 2021

Keeping with the theme of a COVID-19 response that shifts responsibility from government mandates to individuals, Gov. Greg Gianforte announced Wednesday a new directive that lifts restrictions on hours and capacity of bars, restaurants and casinos.  “Many of the folks we talked to were very frustrated. They were loud and clear: They feel the layers […]

Montana tribal campuses to put historic donations to housing, transportation, more

BY: - January 13, 2021

Tribal college presidents say MacKenzie Scott's historic donation will allow them to plan for the future and address immediate needs, such as housing, transportation and internet connectivity. Salish Kootenai College, Chief Dull Knife College, and the Blackfeet Community College all received gifts.

Dems call for Gianforte to reconsider flag proclamation

BY: - January 12, 2021

Democrats in the Montana Senate are urging Gov. Greg Gianforte to order flags across the state to be lowered to half staff, following a proclamation by President Donald J. Trump. Senate Minority Leader Jill Cohenour of East Helena asked Gianforte to reconsider his decision not to lower flags in honor of U.S. Capitol Police Officers […]

Lawmakers consider two bills to regulate transgender youth

BY: - January 12, 2021

A Whitefish Republican wants to ban transgender athletes from competing in K-16 sports — a move a federal judge blocked in a similar bill from Idaho. Idaho District Court Judge David C. Nye said Idaho’s bill “stands in stark contrast to the policies of elite athletic bodies that regulate sports both nationally and globally” when […]

Kathy Kelker speaks on behalf of House Bill 126

House proposal would emphasize treatment for addiction over jails

BY: - January 12, 2021

The Montana House Judiciary Committee heard a bill today that would update a section of Montana law that will emphasize treatment rather than criminalization when dealing with people suffering from alcoholism or chemical dependency. In what she called a “baby step” to the code related to handling public drunkenness created in 1978 Rep. Kathy Kelker, […]

Pandemic pinches enrollment throughout Montana University System

BY: - January 12, 2021

When the pandemic hit the Treasure State in March, Montana campuses started preparing for the worst. Montana State University in Bozeman budgeted for a $12.3 million drop in tuition revenue from a high of $145.1 million the previous fiscal year, or an 8 percent slide, according to data from the Montana Office of the Commissioner […]

Glacier Park sees record October, spike in November

BY: - January 11, 2021

Everybody wants to be first in line to make a reservation for the historic Granite Park Chalet or Sperry Chalet inside Glacier National Park. That was one observation Monday from Kevin Warrington, chalet coordinator, the day the backcountry lodges opened for reservations for the 2021 season. “So it’s not unusual for there to be thousands […]

Bill to broaden places firearms can be carried advances

BY: - January 11, 2021

A bill that aims to broaden the places people can legally carry firearms — and strike down the Montana Board of Regents’ authority to regulate guns on college campuses — advanced Monday on party lines. The House Judiciary Committed voted 12-7 to move House Bill 102 forward. The bill is proposed by Rep. Seth Berglee, […]

‘Millions of birds will die’

BY: - January 11, 2021

In July 2011, a pipeline owned by ExxonMobil burst near Laurel, Mont., dumping 42,000 gallons of crude oil into the nearby Yellowstone River. As federal officials reported the damage for weeks afterward, they found American white pelicans, owls and other bird species covered in oil, injured or dead. ExxonMobil agreed to pay $12 million to […]