Montana News

Eric Whitney

Medicaid Expansion Wins Preliminary Approval In Montana Senate

The Montana Senate today gave preliminary approval to a bill to expand Medicaid coverage to the state's working poor on a 28 to 22 vote. Republican Senator Ed Buttrey of Great Falls is the sponsor of Senate Bill 405. It’s aimed at covering Montanans who earn too much money to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to buy insurance through the Affordable Care Act's marketplace. He says he's been working with the federal agency that oversees Medicaid to craft a Montana solution to the problem of...
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Kenneth Turan's Fifty-Four Favorites From A Lifetime Of Film

Los Angeles Times and NPR film critic Kenneth Turan talks about and reads from his book Not To Be Missed: Fifty-Four Favorites from a Lifetime of Film. Kenneth Turan’s fifty-four favorite films embrace a century of the world’s most satisfying romances and funniest comedies, the most heart-stopping dramas and chilling thrillers. Not to be Missed blends cultural criticism, historical anecdote, and inside-Hollywood controversy. Turan’s selection of favorites ranges across all genres. From "All...
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During this week's Capitol Talk, Sally, Chuck and Mike look forward to what's sure to be a heated debate in the House over Republican Sen. Edward Buttrey's Medicaid bill to expand coverage to the working poor.

They also discuss Republican Rep. Duane Ankney's dark money bill as it takes a step closer the Gov. Bullock's desk.

"Capitol Talk," our weekly legislative news and analysis program, appears on Fridays throughout the legislative session. MTPR's Sally Mauk is joined by Lee Newspapers reporters Chuck Johnson and Mike Dennison.

Rep. Carolyn Pease-Lopez
Montana Legislature

Montana House members have defeated a “religious freedom” bill, after impassioned testimony from those who felt it would enable discrimination.  

The bill is similar to ones that have drawn protests and boycotts in other states.  While supporters saw it as a way to ensure that government would not interfere in the free expression of religion, opponents saw another agenda: enabling businesses to refuse service to customers because of their race or sexual orientation.  

  

Public Domain

Two mass elk shootings in November and December that angered many in Montana have prompted a hunting group to launch an ethical hunting campaign.

Mike England is with the Bozeman-based Citizens’ Advisory Committee, a public group that gives feedback to Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks. His says the irresponsible behavior of the hunters who surrounded and shot into elk herds last last year near Helena motivated his group to move from advice to action.

Rep. Matthew Monforton
Montana Legislature

  The Montana House Thursday approved a measure to ask voters if they want to define “personhood” from the moment of conception – a move that could outlaw abortion and even some birth-control methods.

In Havana, Cuba, the old cars that crowd the streets used to symbolize a stagnant nation. Now enterprising Cubans have begun renting cars out to tourists who are hungry for the cars of their youth.

During my reporting trip to Havana, I spoke with Julio Alvarez, the owner of Nostalgicar in Havana.

He joked that one thing Cubans should thank Fidel Castro for is all the old, majestic American cars that are now making him money.

You can listen to the story using the player above.

Eric Whitney

  The Montana Senate today gave preliminary approval to a bill to expand Medicaid coverage to the state's working poor on a 28 to 22 vote.

Republican Senator Ed Buttrey of Great Falls is the sponsor of Senate Bill 405. It’s aimed at covering Montanans who earn too much money to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to buy insurance through the Affordable Care Act's marketplace.

He says he's been working with the federal agency that oversees Medicaid to craft a Montana solution to the problem of this gap.

Can you spend your way out of an historic drought? Not really, but the consensus in Sacramento these days seems to be that money certainly helps.

Just days after it was introduced, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed his sweeping $1.1 billion emergency drought relief bill today.

Italy's highest court has overturned a murder conviction in the case of Amanda Knox.

The court's decision puts an end to a story that began in 2009 when Knox was found guilty of murdering 21-year-old Meredith Kirchner two years earlier. The verdict was overturned in 2011. But a year later, the Court of Cassation overturned the acquittal and sent the case back to an appeals court in Florence. Last year, that court reinstated the original guilty verdict against Knox and her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito.

Thai leader Prayuth Chan-ocha, the army general who seized power in a coup last year, says that after 10 months of martial law, he's prepared to end it in favor of an equally draconian constitutional provision.

Prayuth says he's "thought it through" and will replace martial law by invoking a part of the the interim constitution that grants his government the same broad powers to suppress free speech and try civilians in military courts.

"[I] am prepared to use [the clause] to replace martial law. When it will be enforced depends on the situation," he says.

Over the past couple of weeks — on All Things Considered, over at Parallels, on Tumblr and on this blog — we've been reporting on Cuba.

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