Montana News

2015 Legislature
5:43 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Two Education Bills On Wednesday's Legislative Agenda

Credit William Marcus

Wednesday at the Capitol, Montana legislators hear two “sister bills" on education.

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5:28 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Tax Cuts Up For Debate At The Capitol

Credit (CC-BY-2.0)

Montana lawmakers are considering whether to approve a one-time only tax cut or a slight reduction across all income tax brackets.

The two tax bills were heard Monday before the House Taxation Committee. From Helena, Yellowstone Public Radio’s Jackie Yamanaka has more.

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Helena Plane Crash
5:07 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

No Fatalities After Plane Crashes Into Helena Home

Location of the plane crash in Helena, MT, Tuesday Jan 20, 2015.
Credit Google Maps

A small airplane crashed into a Helena residential neighborhood Tuesday afternoon, but nobody was killed.

Helena Assistant Fire Chief, Ken Wood, says the single engine plane clipped a tree and crashed into a house and shed on Walnut Street, west of the Helena Regional Airport.

Wood says there was no explosion or fireball when the plane went down.

"No, we were very fortunate. There was limited fuel that leaked, very limited, no fire, no smoke. For whatever reason, the plane crashed and they were fortunate to get out."

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2015 Legislature
4:26 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Legislative News Roundup - Week 2

A statue of Thomas Francis Meagher, Montana's first governor, stands outside the state capitol in Helena.
Credit William Marcus

In the second week of the 64th Montana Legislature, two initiatives from Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock’s budget were opened up in joint appropriations subcommittees.

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Yellowstone River Oil Spill
2:28 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Montana Governor Declares State Of Emergency After River Oil Spill

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 9:25 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit



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1:28 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Missoula MLK Day Speech: Environmental Racism Still Prevalent

Credit Christopher Allen

At a Martin Luther King Jr. celebration speech last night in Missoula, a University of Montana professor identified low-income, Native American and other vulnerable communities as the victims of environmental racism and injustice.

Rosalyn LaPier, an environmental studies professor at the University of Montana, gave the keynote address to nearly 300 attendees who packed the pews of St. Paul Lutheran Church.

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School Districts
12:54 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Three Elementary School Districts Hope to Build And Operate High Schools

Three growing Montana communities are asking lawmakers to give them ability to create their own high school, if local voters agree.

Currently, three elementary districts - Lockwood, East Helena, and Hellgate - are looking at this expansion. Students in these districts go to high schools in nearby Billings, Helena or Missoula.

Officials with the three elementary districts say they all have growing populations. They just want to ask their voters if they want to add a high school.

Supporters of Senate Bill 107 say this is an issue of local control.

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Montana Legislature
12:27 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Net Metering And "Vaping" Proposals Pitched To Lawmakers

Credit William Marcus

State lawmakers are being asked to increase the amount of power that customers can sell to their electric utility from their own solar or wind generators

It’s called net metering, and it’s a boon for alternative energy installers, or a threat to local power companies, depending on whom you ask.

In Montana, electric customers with their own solar panels or wind turbines can sell up to fifty kilowatts back to their power company. Brad van Wert runs an alternative-energy business in Gallatin, and supports raising that cap.

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Medicaid Expansion
11:09 am
Tue January 20, 2015

Dueling Medicaid Expansion Proposals Now Before Legislature

Governor Steve Bullock unveiling his Medicaid expansion proposal
Credit Eric Whitney

Governor Steve Bullock introduced his Medicaid expansion plan this week; one of the most anticipated and potentially controversial bills of the 2015 legislative session.

It would accept federal funding to pay most of the estimated $870 million a year cost of extending Medicaid to about 70,000 more Montanans. Bullock said it was appropriate to introduce the bill on Martin Luther King day.

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Glendive Oil Spill
10:10 am
Tue January 20, 2015

Glendive Oil Spill Clean Up Continues; Drinking Water Advisory In Effect

EPA's Paul Peronard(L) briefing Gov. Steve Bullock in Glendive

Truckloads of drinking water are on their way to Glendive where a weekend oil spill along the Yellowstone River may have contaminated the community's water supply.

About 6,000 residents are advised to not drink or cook with city water. Up to 50,000 gallons of crude may have spilled when a Bridger Pipeline Company component failed Saturday morning. Officials say preliminary tests show at least some of the oil got into the city water treatment plant.

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