Montana News

Legislative Rules Compromise
5:13 pm
Thu January 8, 2015

Legislative Compromise Gives Hope To Dems, Heartburn To Speaker

House Speaker Austin Knudsen (R), HD 34
Credit Montana Legislature

A compromise over the rules in the Montana House gives the minority Democrats a little more power, while preventing a lengthy and acrimonious floor debate.

Tuesday the House Rules committee labored for hours as Democrats brought up a long list of changes to give their pet projects a slightly better chance of passing, or at least not dying in committee. The minority threatened to do the same thing on the House floor Thursday afternoon, until both sides reached a last-minute deal.

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Keystone XL Pipeline
4:23 pm
Thu January 8, 2015

Senate Energy Committee Passes Keystone Pipeline Bill

Montana Senator Steve Daines testifying in favor of constructing the Keystone XL pipeline.

Montana Senator Steve Daines sits on the Senate Energy and Commerce Committee, which today passed a bill to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. He told the committee it’s important for Montana’s economy.

"Not everybody has a fly rod in their hand and is on the ski hill," said Daines.

Daines said the pipeline will move 100,000 barrels a day of oil produced in Montana and North Dakota.

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Meetings Friday, Saturday
12:37 pm
Thu January 8, 2015

Draft Of New Flathead Compact Now Available


Negotiating teams for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, the State of Montana, and the United States today released a revised draft of a proposed water right compact.

You can view the draft water compact here.

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Lucas Chest Compression Machine
6:50 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

Montanans May Soon Get CPR From A Machine

The Lucas-2 cardio compressor machine.
Credit Steve Jess

Your chances of surviving a heart attack in Montana just got better, thanks to something called Lucas.

Mike Hense of Physio-Controls is demonstrating his company’s chest compression system, called the Lucas-2. It looks like a large plastic brace that straps around a patient’s abdomen, with a plastic plunger that presses against the chest cavity. Its purpose is to keep a person’s blood circulating, even if they’re in cardiac arrest.

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Montana Capitol Artwork
5:54 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

Mural Honoring Women Community Builders Unveiled At Montana Capitol

Mural artist Hadley Ferguson of Missoula in front of one panel with her daughter Sarah. Ferguson was selected as the artist among the 55 muralists who submitted applications.
Credit Jackie Yamanaka - Yellowstone Public Radio

A mural depicting the contributions of women as community builders was unveiled Wednesday at the Montana Capitol. The mural is the result legislation passed during the 2011 Montana Legislature.

Jackie Yamanaka of Yellowstone Public Radio has more from the Capitol.

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Legislative Preview
5:39 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

Hunting Licenses, Feral Hog Control On Thursday's Legislative Agenda

Cliff Larsen - D, SD 47, is sponsoring a wild pig control bill.
Credit Montana Legislature

On Thursday, state legislators get down to business as committee members start hearing bills.

Some of the bills on the agenda Tuesday include clarifying procedures, authorizing electronic signatures for hunting licenses, and potentially protecting the state from wild hogs.

Democratic Senator Cliff Larsen says though the threat of wild hogs may be as far off as Colorado, it’s something we should be prepared for.

“I don’t know, I don’t want to pig out on the subject. It’s humorous, and yet there’s a component of seriousness to this,” Larsen said.

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Little Shell Tribe
5:07 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

Little Shell Chippewa Tribe May Get Federal Recognition In 2015

The Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians is a band of the Chippewa Indians headquartered in Great Falls, Montana.

The chairman of a Montana Indian tribe says he thinks the federal government may formally recognize his tribe by the end of this year.

Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians’ Gerald Gray made that prediction one day after Montana's U.S senators introduced a bill to federally recognize the Great Falls-area tribe. The senators say Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke intends to introduce similar legislation in the U.S House.

Gray says federal recognition would be critically important to the Little Shell people who number about 6,500 members.

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2015 Legislature
4:53 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

Democrat's House Rules Amendments Fail On Party Line Votes

Montana representative Jenny Eck - D, HD 79.
Credit Montana Legislature

The six Democrats on the House Rules Committee proposed a dozen amendments to the House rules, mostly designed to give bills backed by Democrats better odds of passage. 

Jenny Eck of Helena says it wasn’t just about protecting the rights of the minority, but about giving all members an equal say.

“What we were fighting was the ability of a small group to block the larger body from voting on issues that are of importance to the entire body."

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70 Hospitalized In One Week
3:19 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

'Tremendous Surge' Of Flu Hospitalizations In Montana

Credit Eric Whitney

There’s been a big uptick in the number of flu cases in Montana. That’s according to Elton Mosher, the state health department’s flu surveillance coordinator.

"Last week we just had a real tremendous surge in the number of hospitalizations," he says.

Last week 70 people were hospitalized for flu. That compares to 100 hospitalizations total over the previous 3 months.

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2015 Legislature
5:19 pm
Tue January 6, 2015

How To Stay Informed About The 2015 Montana Legislature

The 64th session of the Montana Legislature opened Monday. Montana's 90-day session is always a little hectic, here's how you can follow the proceedings, stay informed, and keep in touch with your state representatives.

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