NorthWestern proposes $250M natural gas plant in Laurel

BY: - April 21, 2021

NorthWestern Energy has proposed building a $250 million natural gas plant in Laurel to help meet part of its need for power, the utility said this week in a news release. The Laurel Generating Station is among three agreements NorthWestern announced in the news release to add a total 325 megawatts of power to its […]

Biden calls for paid time off for worker vaccinations

BY: - April 21, 2021

WASHINGTON — Federal and state officials now face trying to reach Americans unable or unwilling to get the COVID-19 vaccine, after meeting President Joe Biden’s goal of administering 200 million doses within his first 100 days in office. To aid in that push, Biden on Wednesday called on employers to give their workers time off […]

From rotten teeth to advanced cancer: The dangers of treatment delays

BY: - April 21, 2021

With medical visits picking up again among patients vaccinated against covid-19, health providers are starting to see the consequences of a year of pandemic-delayed preventive and emergency care as they find more advanced cancer and rotting and damaged teeth, among other ailments. Dr. Brian Rah, chair of the cardiology department at Montana’s Billings Clinic, was […]

Federal background checks on ammo sales pushed by Democrats

BY: - April 21, 2021

WASHINGTON—Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida and Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut on Tuesday reintroduced legislation that would require instant background checks to prevent individuals with a criminal record from illegally purchasing ammunition. The measure backed by the Democrats, known as “Jaime’s Law,” is named in honor of Jaime Guttenberg, a student who died in the Marjory Stoneman […]

Governor vetoes wineries bill

BY: - April 21, 2021

A bill that was vetoed Monday by Gov. Greg Gianforte would have put new requirements on state wineries and would have grandfathered in existing ones. House Bill 440 passed both the Montana House and Senate respectively with comfortable margins, 66-32 in the lower chamber and 30-20 in the upper. The bill would have required wineries […]

Montana law grants sexual assault survivors right to evidence kit information

BY: - April 21, 2021

Sponsored by Rep. Alice Buckley, D-Bozeman, a bill that ensures sexual assault survivors have current information about their evidence kits has become law. Gov. Greg Gianforte signed House Bill 310 into law earlier this month. When she introduced the bill earlier this session, Buckley said it built on legislation the Montana Attorney General helped bring […]

Bill regulating transgender youth healthcare gets postponed with surprise motion

BY: - April 20, 2021

Senate lawmakers voted Tuesday to indefinitely postpone legislation that would prohibit transgender youth from receiving gender-affirming surgical care, a victory for LGBTQ+ advocates who have regularly come to the Capitol to lobby against bills they say restrict their access to healthcare and infringe on their rights. Sen. Bryce Bennett, D-Missoula, who has been an outspoken […]

Union leader: School choice bill risks $16M of recovery funds

BY: - April 20, 2021

The state of Montana risks losing $16 million of American Rescue Plan Act funds during the next four years if House Bill 279 becomes law, according to the Montana Federation of Public Employees. Amanda Curtis, president of the federation, offered that analysis during the most recent hearing on HB279, a “school choice” bill to raise […]

Georgia voting law pummeled at Senate hearing

BY: - April 20, 2021

WASHINGTON—Georgia’s new voting law was at the center of Tuesday’s U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, where senators discussed restoration of a key section in the Voting Rights Act that would prevent states, mostly in the South, from changing their election laws without federal approval. During the more than four-hour hearing, witnesses opposed to the sweeping new […]

Dems sue to stop changes to voter ID, Election Day registration

BY: and - April 20, 2021

Just a day after Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte signed two laws that would change how and when voters register, attorneys for the Montana Democratic Party have sued to stop them, saying they unfairly disenfranchise young voters, the elderly, Native Americans and the disabled even though not a single case of voter fraud has been documented […]

Proposed law would create abortion review committee for Medicaid

BY: - April 20, 2021

A first-of-its-kind abortion review committee for patients who get an abortion using Medicaid funds has been proposed by Rep. Matt Regier, R-Kalsipell. In a new amendment that was proposed after House Bill 686 cleared the state’s House of Representatives, Regier created what opponents are calling an “abortion court,” to review whether the state will pay […]

Haaland asks for funding to fight climate change, aid Native Americans

BY: - April 20, 2021

In her first congressional hearing as the leader of the Interior Department, Secretary Deb Haaland fielded questions from members of a U.S. House spending panel Tuesday on the major conservation and energy initiatives that President Joe Biden has outlined. She was noncommittal about some contentious and high-profile items of deep interest to Western states, like […]