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Lawmakers Consider Changing Columbus Day To 'Montana Heritage Day'

Feb 8, 2017
Posthumous portrait of Christopher Columbus by Sebastiano del Piombo, 1519. There are no known authentic portraits of Columbus.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, online collection (PD)

Lawmakers in Helena are considering changing the name of Columbus Day to Montana Heritage Day. Many proponents of House Bill 322, including Democratic Rep. Bridget Smith of Wolf Point, say part of the bill is about correcting misinformation about the discovery of America.

Governor Steve Bullock urged lawmakers to pass bills to help businesses grow and expand. He says one way to do that is give businesses an incentive to hire apprentices.

It’s an idea that has been embraced by both political parties.


In an effort to control prices on air ambulance rides in Montana, lawmakers are considering urging Congress to revise the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978.
Christopher Ebdon (CC-BY-NC-SA)

On Wednesday, the first in a package of bills trying to address the high cost of air ambulances landed before lawmakers for a vote.

Senate Bill 215 would establish more rigorous permitting requirements for bottling plants that bottle at least 100 acre feet of water each year.
(PD)

Legislators will soon hear a bill that seeks to treat water bottling facilities with the same environmental scrutiny as other major factories and plants. Senate Bill 215 would establish more rigorous permitting requirements for bottling plants that bottle at least 100 acre feet of water each year.

As lawmakers continue crafting the state’s budget, officials with Montana’s health department say the state’s Medicaid programs need more funds to keep up with caseloads. 

A proposal to federally recognize Montana’s Little Shell Tribe advanced a step in the U.S. Senate Wednesday.

The Senate Indian Affairs Committee unanimously approved the measure, which would also give the tribe 200-acres to use as a land base. Montana Senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines sit on that committee.

Western Montana’s in for yet another round of winter weather, including heavy snow, rain and even some more freezing rain.
National Weather Service Missoula

Western Montana’s in for yet another round of winter weather, including heavy snow, rain and even some more freezing rain. National Weather Service meteorologist Travis Booth says this latest storm is moving into the region this afternoon.

Bill Could Bar People Owing Child Support From Getting Hunting Licenses

Feb 7, 2017
Montana Bill Would Make Hunting And Fishing A Constitutional Right
Flickr User Jeff Noble (CC-BY-2)

A bill in the legislature is pushing new penalties for Montanans with outstanding child support payments. Under Senate Bill 172, people who owe child support in Montana could be barred from buying a hunting, fishing, or trapping license.

Betsy DeVos eked out enough votes to become the next Education Secretary this morning. Montana’s Senators in Washington have mixed reactions to her confirmation.

A state senator from Kalispell is proposing a new process to pay for Montana’s public works projects.

Senate Bill 162 asks lawmakers for $40 million to go into a new fund. It authorizes the State Administration and Veterans’ Affairs interim committee to award those dollars for water, sewer, road and bridge projects.

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