MTPR

Eric Whitney

News Director

Eric Whitney is the news director for Montana Public Radio.

406-243-4075

Ways to Connect

The Montana Pain Conference takes place April 5 - 6 at the University of Montana in Missoula.
https://www.mtpain.org/

Like the rest of the country, Montana is struggling with an epidemic of abuse of opioid drugs, both prescription painkillers and illegal narcotics like heroin and fentanyl. At the end of this week, physicians and other health care providers and counselors are getting together in Missoula to learn about potential solutions.

Before it passed, all three members of Montana’s congressional delegation praised at least some aspects of the federal omnibus spending bill. But in the end, only Democrat Jon Tester voted for the bill, which President Trump signed into law earlier today.

Live and beetle killed trees in the Helena National Forest.
Steve Jess

Today the U.S. House passed the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill with strong bipartisan support. It funds the federal government through September. The bill now heads to the Senate where NPR says it is also likely to pass with bipartisan support.

Wednesday, Montana's Republican Senator Steve Daines said there's good news for the Treasure State in the spending bill.

Helena National Forest.
Forest Service Northern Region (PD)

The big federal funding bill that Congress is expected to vote on Thursday would mean some certainty on three big issues for Montana and other Western states.

The bill locks-in Secure Rural Schools Act money for up to four years, changes how wildland firefighting is funded, and allocates money to the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

Montana Senator Jon Tester.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Senator Jon Tester called a press conference yesterday after the banking de-regulation bill he co-sponsored passed the Senate. The bill rolls back restrictions for some banks enacted in the Dodd-Frank Act, which was passed in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008.

Tester’s bill was popular with Senate Republicans, and won support from 15 other Democrats.

Pages