MTPR

Chas Vincent

Wildland Firefighters working on fire line on the West Fork Fish Creek Fire in 2015.
Inciweb

State lawmakers Monday took up a proposal by Governor Steve Bullock to increases fees on some property owners to fund fire protection in the state. It's part of the governor's package of legislation aimed at patching the $227 million hole in the state budget.

House Bill 4 proposes freeing up $13 million in the state's general fund by asking property tax payers to take on more of the cost for state firefighting preparedness. This bill would ask property owners in eastern Montana to pay fees that people in western parts of the state already pay.

Hydroelectric dams like the Salish Ksanka Qlispe Dam in Polson worry invasive mussels could clog up energy production.
Corin Cates-Carney

Hydropower is a big resource in Montana. It accounted for almost a third of the state’s net electricity generation in 2015. Floods and droughts are always on dam managers’ minds, but lately, energy producers are also worried about tiny, non-native mollusks that could wreak havoc on Montana’s hydropower facilities.


A legislative proposal by Senate President Scott Sales to slap a $25 tax on out-of-state bicyclists visiting Montana turns out to be a big joke, but it's going over like a lead ballon.
Corin-Cates-Carney

A legislative proposal to slap a $25 tax on out-of-state bicyclists visiting Montana received a lot of negative buzz over the past week. Turns out it was also a big joke. And it’s going over like a lead balloon with cycling advocates like Ginny Sullivan.

Colstrip Closure, Water Rights On The Agenda At The Montana Legislature

Jan 3, 2017
Montana Capitol, Helena, MT.
William Marcus

The Colstrip Power Plant and water rights are shaping up to be big natural resource issues for the 2017 Legislative session.

Monday at the Montana Capitol the Legislature’s Water Policy Interim Committee raised questions about new federal clean water rules intended to give the Environmental Protection Agency a say in regulating many streams and ditches that are now the domain of state and local regulators. Montana lawmakers from both parties say they’re troubled by the new rules.

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