Thousands of people gathered at events across Montana Saturday to participate in this year’s Women’s March. Each event had its own organizers and theme. In Missoula, pink hats, red sashes, and sassy signs peppered downtown Saturday morning, as an estimated 3,000 people gathered for the second Women’s March. Last year, a centralized march held at the state capitol drew an estimated 10,000 people. But this year, 9 cities hosted coordinated rallies.
At a legislative hearing today in Helena, the state health department faced accusations from law enforcement that it’s not readily sharing evidence that could protect kids who are being exposed to meth. Lewis and Clark County Attorney Leo Gallagher wasted no time with state lawmakers today in Helena, saying, "one of my passions is kids and I don’t much like bureaucrats.”
Today on Campaign Beat: outside consultants coming to Montana to work on campaigns; Grant Kier's new Facebook ad; the impact of the women's marches; Corey Stapleton criticizes the media; and Joe Biden's upcoming Montana visit.
Nevada rancher and anti-federal government activist Cliven Bundy is slated to speak in the town of Paradise Saturday, January 20, 2018. He and Montana elected officials were invited to speak by a local group.
Senator Jon Tester blasted his colleagues in Congress today for continued failure to pass a long-term federal spending bill. Congress has been relying on short-term spending bills to support vital programs since government funding ran out 110 days ago.
Last week the Trump administration made a historic change to Medicaid , the health coverage program that’s jointly funded by the states and federal government. For the first time, states were given the OK to require Medicaid recipients to work in exchange for health coverage. Republican lawmakers tried to do that in Montana 2015, but the Obama administration said no.
Governor Steve Bullock’s budget director today said the federal tax bill passed by Congress is expected to result in a $20 million loss in state revenue over the next two years. And that loss is not significant enough to call a special legislative session or require further cuts to government spending.
When it became clear that state revenues were falling short of expectations during the last legislative session, state lawmakers agreed they should start studying Montana’s changing economy. Earlier in the session, revenue forecasts from legislative and executive branch analysts said the state’s economy was strong. But revenues ended up coming in way short and state lawmakers are starting to ask why.
A legislative committee on health care prices seems split on whether giving consumers more information about health care prices will make much difference. Last year Montana's Legislature set up a committee to study transparency in health care pricing, concerned that consumers don't have enough information about what health care procedures cost to shop for the best deals. And that means there's little incentive for providers to offer low prices.
Montana’s state health department is getting ready to take over day-to-day help for 3,000 people with developmental disabilities this spring, after severing contracts with four private contractors. The department says it had no choice after state lawmakers and the governor cut $49 million out of its budget in November.
Shopping for health care is kind of like going to a grocery store where there aren’t any price tags. That jar of spaghetti sauce might cost $4, or maybe $50. But in health care you typically don’t find out prices until you get to the checkout counter. People with one kind of card pay one price, those with another pay a different one, and you may do better or worse if you offer cash. Last year Montana lawmakers, frustrated by how hard it is to shop for the best deal in healthcare, set up a...
A woman in Polson who is accusing her former employer of firing her after she complained about sexual harassment in the workplace had a three-day hearing last week. MTPR’s Flathead Valley reporter Nicky Ouellet covered the hearing and spoke with News Director Eric Whitney about it.
On Saturday musicians in the Flathead Valley performed original songs about Martin Luther King Jr.’s life at the eleventh annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration hosted by Love Lives Here, an affiliate of the Montana Human Rights Network. Whitefish resident David Walburn wrote two of the songs. Walburn grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, during the height of the Civil Rights Movement. He remembers listening to Martin Luther King, Jr., on the radio while studying music in college. I spoke with him...
Since 2007 Montana taxpayers have compensated ranchers when wolves and grizzly bears kill their livestock — to the tune of up to $200,000 a year. Some of that money is also spent on projects designed to prevent predator conflicts. That earns it high marks from both ranchers and conservation organizations. Last year, state lawmakers voted to add mountain lion -related losses to the compensation list for the first time. The problem is, the program didn’t get any additional funding to do that.
Sally Mauk, Chuck Johnson and Rob Saldin discuss what distinguishes the Democratic House candidates, parse Tester's meeting with Trump this week, and talk about the risks and rewards of getting 100 percent behind Trump. Listen now on this installment of "Campaign Beat."
The Montana Department of Health launched a new program today aimed at reducing child deaths, along with abuse and neglect among vulnerable families. The First Years Initiative will provide services and resources to new mothers and their children. It’s funded through a federal grant and will be rolled out in stages.
Governor Steve Bullock has signed an executive order creating an advisory council on state parks. Bullock’s order says the fiscal health of state parks remains a chronic problem, and the implementation of Montana’s plan for parks and recreation has not been fully undertaken or realized.
Five Democrats running for their party’s nomination to challenge Republican Greg Gianforte for Montana’s lone seat in the U.S. House met in their second public forum in Helena Thursday night. They continued working to distinguish themselves as uniquely qualified to beat Gianforte. A Democrat has not represented Montana in the U.S. House since 1996.
MTPR is doing a lot of reporting on the more than $170 million worth of cuts to the state budget that are resulting in people losing their jobs across state government and with private contractors, and reduced services to some of Montana’s poorest and most vulnerable citizens. Today, we’ve asked our Capitol Reporter Corin Cates-Carney to join us for a big picture look at how the cuts came about, where they’re landing and whether there are any alternatives.