Out-of-state telehealth threatens in-state providers

BY: - March 15, 2021

When the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation began offering telehealth services in Montana in early February, the nation’s largest nonprofit addiction treatment provider promised quality care for far-flung residents without their even having to leave home. That promise was what Montana and more than 40 other states had in mind when they temporarily relaxed rules restricting […]

Pediatric medicine struggling with young ‘Long Haulers’ COVID

BY: - March 15, 2021

A slumber party to celebrate Delaney DePue’s 15th birthday last summer marked a new chapter — one defined by illness and uncertainty. The teen from Fort Walton Beach, Florida, tested positive for covid-19 about a week later, said her mother, Sara, leaving her bedridden with flu-like symptoms. However, her expected recovery never came. Delaney — […]

Campbell: ‘A cat I could accommodate’

BY: - March 14, 2021

Kathi Campbell, going on 79, moved into a condo for seniors after her husband died seven years ago. The retired Missoula educator remodeled it to suit her tastes, and she’s been pleased with it. “Then eventually, you just say, ‘Well, what do I really miss?’ I really miss having a pet, and a cat I […]

States question whether new federal stimulus law rules out tax cuts

BY: - March 13, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden’s massive pandemic stimulus law pumps a welcome infusion of federal aid into state and local government coffers — but one brief section is raising questions about whether states are barred from cutting their own taxes if they accept the federal help. The Senate added language to the COVID-19 relief package prohibiting […]

Tribal liaison positions restored; continuous enrollment policy for CHIP, Medicaid cut

BY: and - March 12, 2021

Lawmakers charged with crafting the budget voted for an amendment on Friday that would restore a pair of tribal liaison positions in the Department of Public Health and Human Services, reversing cuts that Democrats and indigenous Montanans have been agitating against throughout the session. However, the House Appropriations Committee voted to forge ahead with its […]

House committee approves amendment increasing income tax cuts

BY: - March 12, 2021

A House panel on Friday approved and expanded a bill from the governor’s office to cut the top income tax rate, more than doubling the likely cost of the cut to state revenues. The vote came as the committee considered three of the governor’s flagship tax cut proposals, though the House Taxation Committee ultimately decided […]

‘Cynically driven’: Experts question Montana’s lawsuit challenging change in federal immigration policy

BY: - March 12, 2021

Immigration experts say because of the low number of undocumented people in Montana and how Congress and the executive branch dictate federal immigration policies that a lawsuit filed by the state against the Department of Homeland Security is a frivolous endeavor. “I think [the lawsuits] are cynically driven to exacerbate cultural wars … I think […]

Legal counsel: $350M at stake with transgender athletes bill

BY: - March 11, 2021

Montana could lose an estimated $350 million in federal funding — money that goes largely to student loans and Pell grants — if a bill that aims to regulate transgender athletes becomes law, according to the Montana Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education. Ali Bovingdon, chief legal counsel for the Commissioner’s Office, said Thursday […]

Biden to states: Make adults eligible for COVID vaccines by May 1

BY: - March 11, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is directing states to make all adults eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine by May 1, according to a White House memo ahead of his first primetime address Thursday evening. Biden’s COVID-19 advisers are projecting that enough Americans in priority groups will be able to access the vaccine by the end of […]

Elk management bill drives debate around class, public lands access

BY: - March 11, 2021

A hearing on legislation designed to increase elk harvest in Montana perhaps unsurprisingly became a referendum on class and access this week as dozens of hunters came to the Capitol to protest an incentive program they said would leverage the state’s land and publicly held wildlife for financial gain by the powerful and well-connected. “This […]

A good return on investment: New report shows Montana senators benefit from defense lobbying

BY: - March 10, 2021

A new report this week looking at the defense industry and lobbying shows intercontinental ballistic missile contractors directed millions towards politicians and efforts to support a new system, which would be located in Montana, Wyoming and North Dakota. Those lobbying efforts appear to have largely been effective as the United States plans to replace its Minuteman […]

University of Montana dean resigns post after eight months

BY: - March 10, 2021

The dean of humanities and sciences at the University of Montana has stepped down just eight months after taking the reins of the flagship’s cornerstone college. “Throughout the months of academic planning in which we have been engaged this year, it has become clear to me that aspirations I have for the college cannot be […]