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Montana Lawmakers Cut Budget For Long-Term Senior And Disabled Care

Mar 16, 2017
Montana Lawmakers Cut Budget For Long-Term Senior And Disabled Care
(PD)

One of the amendments to the state budget Montana lawmakers shot down today would have given more funding to a program that helps pay for long-term care for low-income seniors and disabled Montanans.

Smurfit-Stone Container mill outside Frenchtown, Montana.
Djembayz (CC-BY-SA-3)

People concerned about the contaminated Smurfit-Stone paper mill site west of Missoula are meeting tonight in Frenchtown at 6:00 p.m. They're considering forming a Community Advisory Group to better communicate with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The 3,200 acre Smurfit-Stone site was proposed for listing under the EPA's Superfund program in 2013 over concerns about soil and groundwater contamination.

The American Library Association awarded U.S. Senator Jon Tester, D-MT, its James Madison Award in recognition for his advocacy for government transparency and public access to government information. The award coincides with National Sunshine Week, March 12-18, 2017, that promotes the public’s right to know.


Bill Would Legalize, Tax Blackjack In Montana

Mar 15, 2017
Dealer lays out cards at a blackjack table.
Flickr user, Shannon Kokoska (cc-by-2.0)

Republican Rep. Wylie Galt says generating revenue for the state can be as simple as counting to 21, meaning, playing blackjack.

Montana House of Representatives.
MTPR

The state's biennial budget will get its first debate on the House floor Thursday, the next round of legislative struggle over the state's lighter-than-hoped-for pocket book, which came up short of initial projections largely because of declines in state revenue from sales of coal, oil and gas.

After a first round of spending cuts and denials of spending increases, late last week a Republican controlled committee passed a budget that Governor Steve Bullock is calling "unacceptable."

The sun setting on Rock Creek in western Montana.
Josh Burnham

I’m standing on the bank of Rattlesnake Creek in Missoula, close to where it joins the Clark Fork River. The future of this creek and scores more across the state is in question in a new way now that President Donald Trump has issued an executive order. It seeks to overturn the so-called "Waters of the United States" rule that President Obama established in 2015.

Montana Lawmakers Consider 6 Percent Tax On Medical Marijuana
Courtesy Drug Policy Alliance

Montana lawmakers are considering a 6 percent sales tax on medical marijuana. Opponents told the House Taxation Committee that the tax would be a hardship on many of the nearly 12,000 registered medical marijuana users in Montana.

Bill Would Prohibit Bans On Traditional Regalia At Public Events

Mar 14, 2017
High school seniors Jessica Not Afraid, left, Georgeline Morsette and Shaylee St. Marks wear  their beaded graduation caps to support Senate Bill 319 at the Montana Legislature Tuesday,  March 14.
Freddy Monares

Native American communities across Montana are asking the Legislature to make it unlawful to ban traditional regalia, specifically beaded caps, during graduation ceremonies. Senate Bill 319 would allow items with cultural significance to be worn at public events. The bill specifies those events to include public meetings, awards ceremonies and high school or college graduation ceremony.

Richard Spencer, head of the National Policy Institute and editor of Radix Journal, an alt-right publication is a part-time Whitefish resident.
Courtesy National Policy Institute

The federal government has revoked the tax-exempt status of a group run by white nationalist Richard Spencer. Spencer says the IRS incorrectly listed his white-supremacy think tank, the National Policy Institute, as not having to file certain tax forms normally required of nonprofits.

Greg Gianforte is the Republican candidate for the U.S. House seate vacated by Ryan Zinke.
Rowebotz (CC-BY-SA-4.0)

Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte took to the airwaves Tuesday morning to, in a way, reintroduce himself to Montana voters:

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