News

Seven states to watch in the 2022 push to restrict voting rights

BY: - January 14, 2022

WASHINGTON — Republican state lawmakers across the country are ramping up their drive to enact voting and election-related laws in time for crucial 2022 midterm elections. As federal legislation that would limit state-level voting restrictions appears stymied in Washington, Republicans in the states are moving forward with new proposals and revisiting old ones that Democrats and […]

Billings Public Schools reverses decision about masks

BY: - January 14, 2022

Less than a week away from implementing new “masking optional” policies, Montana’s largest K-12 public school system announced that it was reversing its decision and continuing the masking requirements in schools because of a surge of COVID-19 cases attributed to the omicron variant. The letter, sent to parents and the community by School District 2 […]

Sinema won’t support changes in the Senate filibuster, in setback for voting rights

BY: - January 14, 2022

WASHINGTON — Arizona Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema on Thursday appeared to end a drive by Democrats to change the Senate’s filibuster rules and pass major voting rights legislation. Sinema said during a Senate floor speech that she believed any changes to the filibuster would continue to create political division, despite her concerns over a wave of […]

Federal prosecutors file seditious conspiracy charges against Oath Keepers in Jan. 6 attack

BY: - January 14, 2022

WASHINGTON — Stewart Rhodes, the founder of the far-right militia group the Oath Keepers, was charged with seditious conspiracy in organizing an attack on the U.S. Capitol and disrupting the Electoral College certification of the president, the Justice Department announced Thursday. Edward Vallejo, 63, of Phoenix is charged along with Rhodes in connection with events leading up to […]

Supreme Court blocks Biden workplace vaccine rule, allows health care workers mandate

BY: - January 13, 2022

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday dealt a blow to the Biden administration’s fight against the pandemic, blocking a federal mandate that workers be vaccinated or regularly tested for COVID-19 — though the court allowed a separate rule requiring vaccinations for some health care workers. The two rulings represented a split victory for Republican attorneys general from Ohio, Missouri, […]

Court: Secretary of State enjoined from certifying PSC candidates

BY: - January 13, 2022

The Montana Secretary of State won’t be able to certify candidates running for the Public Service Commission districts 1 and 5 for the time being, according to an order Thursday from the Helena Division of the U.S. District Court of Montana. In a complaint against Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen, plaintiffs Bob Brown, Hailey Sinoff […]

MFPE sues State AG and SOS over property tax initiative

BY: - January 13, 2022

Two Montana business owners and the Montana Federation of Public Employees are asking a Lewis and Clark County District Court judge to block signature gathering on a recently approved ballot initiative that, if passed, would limit residential property tax increases to less than 2 percent per year. In a lawsuit filed Wednesday, the plaintiffs argue […]

Montana will distribute 650,000 free COVID-19 rapid tests

BY: - January 13, 2022

Montana has acquired 650,000 COVID-19 rapid antigen tests that it will distributed at no cost through local health departments, Gov. Greg Gianforte said Thursday. The state ordered the self-administered CareStart tests from Medea Medical Products using $5.5 million in federal grant funding authorized as part of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act. Officials […]

‘Bridge’ money for mental health services runs out

BY: - January 13, 2022

The $2.2 million “bridge” money the Montana Legislature allocated to temporarily support mental health services for children in public schools has been exhausted, the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services confirmed this week. And with pressure mounting on multiple fronts, a plan to find a new way to pay for the Comprehensive School […]

Billings Clinic announces first surgical residency in Montana

BY: - January 13, 2022

Billings Clinic, the state’s largest healthcare provider, has announced that it is partnering with the University of Arizona-Phoenix to create a residency program to train surgeons, with an emphasis on surgery in rural and underserved areas. The first three surgical residents will begin in June, and it adds to other residencies in Billings, including family […]

Michigan woman arrested with guns in her truck near U.S. Capitol

BY: - January 13, 2022

WASHINGTON — The United States Capitol Police said in a press release that they arrested a Michigan woman Wednesday on charges of unlawful possession of multiple firearms. The woman, identified by officers as Kery Lynn McAttee, told police she was traveling from Michigan and went to the U.S. Capitol Police headquarters to talk about information she […]

Conservation group: EPA failing to protect Montana’s ‘world-class waterways’

BY: - January 13, 2022

A Montana environmental organization is ratcheting up its effort to halt the repeal of numeric nutrient water quality standards for streams and rivers in the state, filing a notice this week that it intends to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over the federal government’s inaction on the changes. The EPA has not met its […]