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Tuition freeze for Montana students OK’d in early vote

A legislative committee has unanimously endorsed the Montana University System’s budget, including $24 million that would freeze tuition for Montana resident students for the next two years.   The Joint Appropriations Subcommittee on Education voted 7-0 Wednesday to approve the governor’s two-year budget proposal to spend $404 million from taxpayers on the University System.   Read More…

Helena Democrat proposes $210 Million carbon tax

Montana lawmakers are considering two bills to tax carbon pollution, and not surprisingly owners of Colstrip Power Plant say the measures would kill the facility.   Democratic legislators are floating two bills creating a $10-per-ton tax on carbon dioxide from various sources, including coal-fired power plants. Theirs aren’t the first attempts targeting Colstrip. Washington State, Read More…

Daines, Gianforte, Tester Introduce Clean Water for Rural Communities Act

U.S. CONGRESS – U.S. Senators Steve Daines and Jon Tester and Congressman Greg Gianforte today reintroduced a bipartisan bill to provide much-needed authorization for Montana rural water infrastructure. “The fact of the matter is that thousands of Montanans still lack access to steady safe drinking water,” Daines stated. “Water is a basic necessity for any community. We depend Read More…

Governor thought ex-aide would stop harassment

HELENA, Mont. — Montana Gov. Steve Bullock’s spokeswoman says the governor thought a former senior staffer of his wouldn’t harass any more women after being fired from the Democratic Governors Association. Bullock spokeswoman Ronja Abel said Tuesday that it’s clear that Kevin O’Brien’s 2015 firing from the DGA hadn’t been enough since O’Brien was forced out Read More…

MTN-MSU poll: Bullock, Daines most highly rated statewide officials

This is the final installment of a three-part series on MTN-MSU’s post-election poll BOZEMAN – Gov. Steve Bullock, a Democrat, and Republican U.S. Sen. Steve Daines are Montana’s most popular politicians on a statewide level, according to an MTN News-Montana State University post-election poll of state voters. Bullock’s approval rating came in at 60 percent Read More…

MSU post-election poll: Independent voters key in MT’s 2018 Senate, House races

This is the first of a three-part series on MTN-MSU’s post-election poll BOZEMAN – Democratic U.S. Sen. Jon Tester defeated Republican challenger Matt Rosendale last November largely on his strength among independent voters, an MTN News-Montana State University post-election poll shows. And while President Donald Trump visited the state an unprecedented four times in 2018 Read More…

U.S. Supreme court lets Montana campaign-contribution limits stand

HELENA – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear a challenge to Montana’s campaign-contribution limits, letting the 24-year-old law stand. The high court, without comment, denied the appeal of a 2017 appellate court ruling that upheld Montana’s monetary limits on what individuals, political-action committees and political parties can give to state candidates. Jaime Read More…

Steve Bullock

Voters rejected Medicaid expansion, Bullock pushing for it in legislative session

MISSOULA, Mont. — One day following the beginning of Montana’s 2019 legislative session, Gov. Steve Bullock presented a report on the benefits of Medicaid expansion. The current funding plan is set to expire in June. The governor was a strong proponent of I-185. The initiative would have funded Medicaid expansion by increasing the tobacco tax. Voters Read More…

Monica Lindeen to head Montana Democratic Party

The Montana Democratic Party has named Monica Lindeen as its new executive director, replacing the outgoing Nancy Keenan, who is retiring.   Lindeen, 56, was most recently executive director of YWCA Helena, following eight years as the state Commissioner of Securities and Insurance. She was previously vice chair of the party and served eight years Read More…

After Midterm Defeat, Advocates For Montana’s Medicaid Expansion Turn To Legislature

A ballot initiative that would have continued funding Montana’s Medicaid expansion beyond June 2019 has failed. But advocates say they’ll continue to push for money to keep the expansion going after that financial sunset. “We now turn our attention to the legislature to maintain Montana’s bipartisan Medicaid expansion and protect those enrolled from harmful restrictions Read More…

Kalispell council gears up for legislative session

If each legislative session in Helena were akin to a three-month football game, then the players and spectators alike would be thinking now about lively offensive strategies and formidable defenses. The Montana Legislature’s 2019 session launches Jan. 7. And members of the Kalispell City Council want to nail down the city’s legislative priorities in the Read More…

Bullock appoints longtime democratic operatives to state boards

Helena – Governor Steve Bullock has appointed two longtime Democratic legislators and political operatives, Hal Harper and Dave McAlpin, to prestigious state board positions. On Monday, Governor Bullock’s office announced the appointment of Hal Harper to the Judicial Nominations Commission and Dave McAlpin to the Tax Appeal Board. Mr. Harper is a longtime Democrat state Read More…

Kavanaugh gives Republicans a chance to win in Montana

ENNIS, Mont. — Louie Baur confessed he doesn’t know much about Matt Rosendale, after meeting the Republican challenging Democratic Sen. Jon Tester as he glad-handed supporters and posed for selfies along Main Street in this historic hunting outpost. But Rosendale has President Trump’s seal-of-approval in Montana’s suddenly competitive Senate contest — and that’s good enough Read More…

HD-10: Incumbent says tapping natural resources helps state

MARK NOLAND Age: 59 Party: Republican, incumbent Family: Wife, Kathy, six children and seven grandchildren Education: Graduated from Whitefish High School, some college at University of Montana Occupation: Entrepreneur, 33 years as a Flathead Valley Business owner; owner of Flathead Janitorial and Rainbow Restoration Background: I’ve been a legislator since 2015, past president of Glacier Read More…