Second round of ARPA funding for towns announced

BY: - June 11, 2021

The second round of federal COVID funding going to towns with less than 50,000 people was announced  Friday. The announcement from the governor’s office showed how much the municipalities receive through federal funds allocated to the state through the American Rescue Plan Act was announced Friday in a press release from the governor’s office. On […]

Find out how much federal COVID relief funding (if any) your town received

BY: - June 10, 2021

The amount of money towns with less than 50,000 people will receive through federal funds allocated to the state through the American Rescue Plan Act was announced Thursday in a press release from the governor’s office. “The federal funds we’re distributing today give local governments the authority to address the unique needs of their communities,” […]

ARPA steering group recommends $102 million in COVID aid healthcare programs

BY: - June 3, 2021

A state commission Thursday recommended approval of more than $100 million in federally funded COVID-19 relief programs under the umbrella of public health and healthcare, one of the first significant allocation of funds in Montana from the American Rescue Plan Act. A steering group of lawmakers and appointees from the executive branch — among them […]

Tester touts ARPA relief in Helena trip

BY: - June 1, 2021

Paul Mabie and his husband put everything on the line to launch the Oddfellow Inn and Farm on a patch of agricultural land outside of Helena in July of 2019. Less than a year later, the pandemic threatened to take it all away from the couple, also partners in the business. “We would have probably […]

New poll shows Montana support for relief, infrastructure, senior care

BY: - May 26, 2021

New polling data by a statewide group dedicated to senior issues shows popular support for much of the relief effort championed by Congress and President Joseph Biden. Big Sky 55+ sponsored the poll conducted by Data for Progress, which surveyed 723 likely voters, with more conservatives than liberals. Big Sky 55+ is a nonpartisan nonprofit […]

Thousands of Montanans will see increased WIC benefits for produce

BY: - May 20, 2021

A panel of lawmakers and state officials on Thursday held an “emergency” meeting to authorize a temporary expansion of federal benefits to help low-income women and their families purchase additional fruit and vegetables, just in time for a June deadline that had slipped beyond the notice of the Legislature as it works to spend a […]

Gianforte taps current head of agriculture to lead ARPA spending efforts

BY: - May 13, 2021

Gov. Greg Gianforte has selected Mike Foster — current executive director of the Montana Department of Agriculture — to oversee the allocation of more than $1.5 billion of funds received by the state through the American Rescue Plan Act, according to a news release from the Governor’s Office. “A proven, trusted leader, Mike will direct […]

Gianforte signs $275 million broadband bill

BY: - May 11, 2021

Gov. Greg Gianforte signed an ambitious, federally funded broadband expansion package Tuesday, enacting a $275 million investment with pledges to close Montana’s digital divide and shake its slump as one of the least connected states in the country. The bill, SB297, leverages COVID-19 aid dollars available from the federal American Rescue Plan Act to improve […]

More than $350B in federal recovery funds starts rolling out

BY: - May 10, 2021

WASHINGTON — States, cities and counties can begin to tap their share of the $350 billion in federal funds intended to spur a national recovery from the economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic, White House officials announced Monday. The Biden administration said the much-anticipated money, which was included in the massive relief law enacted earlier this […]

Montana to axe expanded unemployment benefits funded by feds, create back-to-work cash bonus

BY: - May 4, 2021

The state Department of Labor and Industry on Tuesday paired its announcement of a new direct payment-based workforce incentive created from federal COVID-19 aid with news that Montana will soon be the first state to decline federally-funded, expanded unemployment insurance benefits related to the pandemic, increased payments that would otherwise be available through September. This […]

Democrats gave Americans a boost buying health insurance, but it didn’t come cheap

BY: - April 22, 2021

When Democrats pushed through a two-year expansion of the Affordable Care Act in the covid-relief bill last month, many people celebrated the part that will make health insurance more affordable for more Americans. But health care researchers consider this move a short-term fix for a long-term crisis, one that avoids confronting an uncomfortable truth: The […]

House passes monumental COVID-19 aid bill

BY: - March 30, 2021

Less than three weeks after President Joe Biden signed the mammoth American Rescue Plan Act, a $1.9 trillion federal COVID-19 recovery package, Montana lawmakers have shepherded a bill to spend most of Montana’s share of that sum across its first major hurdle. House Bill 632, which passed a House vote on a wide bipartisan margin […]