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The last time Abenayaa (Abena) Lane was told to return to her "home country" was just before the presidential election in the fall.

She was shopping at a Walmart in Billings while wearing a head scarf, her hijab, when someone told her that when Trump becomes president, she will need to leave the Big Sky State.

Lane is a soldier in the U.S. Army studying sociology and criminal justice at MSU Billings. She told YPR’s Brie Ripley about one of the first times she felt unwanted in America for being Muslim. 


Now that both the full House and Senate have had their a chance to work on the state’s main budget bill, attention is returning to what legislative leaders have said is the priority this session—infrastructure.

Montana Capitol
William Marcus

The Montana Senate approved a state budget today that’s about $19 million above the budget passed by the House of Representatives.

The state budget moved out of the Senate in a brief morning vote 29-20.

A bill to address the high cost of air ambulance rides may not do anything if it passes in the state legislature. Because, as one lawmaker puts it, the proposed legislation may accomplish its goal even before it becomes law.

Montana Bill Seeks To Block Enforcement Of Federal Firearm Bans

Apr 4, 2017
The House of Representatives gave preliminary approval Tuesday to a bill meant to preserve Montanans' right to bear arms by prohibiting the enforcement of any federal ban on firearms.
Webmaster 102 (CC-BY-3.0)

The House of Representatives gave preliminary approval Tuesday to a bill meant to preserve Montanans' right to bear arms by prohibiting the enforcement of any federal ban on firearms.

Senate Bill 99 would establish the "Montana Federal Firearm, Magazine, and Ammunition Ban Enforcement Prohibition Act." The bill passed out of the Senate in February on a 30-to-20 vote.

The M-44 consists of a capsule holder, a cyanide capsule, a spring-activated ejector, and a stake.
U.S. Department of Agriculture

Environmental and animal welfare groups are suing the federal government over its use of two widely used predator-killing poisons. Compound 1080 and M-44s, are effective tools to kill coyotes and other native carnivores.

Bethany Cotton says that’s part of the problem; they’re too effective:

Budget Bill Passes State Senate
Corin Cates-Carney

MTPR's Capitol Reporter Corin Cates-Carney recounts Monday's day-long debate over the state budget bill in the Senate.

A firefighter on the Bierny Creek Fire near Lakeside, MT.
Patrick Record/Inciweb

Larry Anderson arrived early for a meeting last Friday morning at the Flathead National Forest supervisor’s office in Kalispell. It was unseasonably sunny and warm outside, but he’d spend the next three hours listening to presentations in a conference room because of something that happened last summer.

The Northern Cheyenne tribe, along with a coalition of conservation groups, sued the Trump administration Wednesday for lifting a moratorium on coal leases on public lands.

The southeastern Montana tribe filed the lawsuit in response to Interior Secretary Zinke’s decision to lift the moratorium on coal leasing.

A plow team work their way up the west side of Going-to-the-Sun road in Glacier National Park in 2015.
Corin Cates-Carney

Plowing began on the west side of Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park today. Though Lauren Alley, a public affairs specialist for the park, says it’s hard to say when the road will be entirely clear.

“That is always the question every year, how long will that take, and it really is variable year by year, it does take several months to get all that snow cleared off,” Alley says.

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