Montana University System

   A new pilot program will allow high school students in Billings to earn credits toward high school graduation and for college for free.

The project is called High School Connections. It was spearheaded by Montana State University Billings.

Greg Gianforte at his home in Bozeman. Greg Gianforte at his home in Bozeman. University officials said the Gianfortes have been longtime supporters of MSU.
Eric Whitney

Montana University System Regents heard testimony Thursday about an $8 million gift to Montana State University by Greg Gianforte, the Bozeman software entrepreneur who’s running for governor as a Republican.

The Montana Supreme Court hears arguments in the Krakauer case in Bozeman, April 27, 2016.
Corin Cates-Carney

The Montana University System challenged bestselling author Jon Krakauer in a state Supreme Court hearing Wednesday. In 2015, Krakauer released the book "Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town," examining how the University of Montana handled cases of alleged rape. One of those cases involved former UM student and quarterback Jordan Johnson.

Air ambulance bills often have a price tag in the five figure range. Patients' shock over the cost of emergency medical transport has recently turned into complaints filed to the auditor’s office.
(PD)

Air ambulance and health insurance companies took turns blaming each other Thursday for costly but lifesaving air ambulance flights in Montana. The accusations flew during a legislative committee hearing.

Reynermedia.com (CC-BY-2.0)

Legislative audits released today of the Montana University System came up clean and without criticism. After reviewing data for the fiscal year ending in June 2015, auditors saw no need for adjustments in how the universities handle their cash flow.

UM Enrollment Continues To Drop
Josh Burnham

Montana University officials are condemning accusations of unfair hiring practices at the University of Montana. The charge is leveled by a group of community members and UM faculty.

Montana Lawmakers Hear State Employee Pay Plan

Mar 16, 2015
Rep. Nancy Ballance (R) HD87
Montana Legislature

A standing room only crowd packed into the hearing room for the state employee pay plan. Members of the House Appropriations Committee are considering whether to implement the pay plan agreement reached between the Bullock administration and the various public employee unions.

Sheila Hogan heads the Department of Administration. She was one of several agency administrators who spoke in favor of the pay plan.

News Roundup: Week Five At The Montana Legislature

Feb 8, 2015
An interim legislative committee is reviewing the state’s current definition of sexual intercourse without consent, for possible change in the 2017 legislative session.
William Marcus

Juneau calls for early education, tax cuts pass, lawmakers consider drones on public lands and Fox supports bill to combat human trafficking.

In her address to a joint session of the Montana Legislature last week, Superintendent Denise Juneau praised Montana’s schools and called for more investment in them.

“We have a lot to be proud of in this state,” she said.

Juneau listed accomplishments like the highest graduation rates in the state’s history and growth in organizations like the Future Farmers of America.

Chuck Johnson, Sally Mauk and Mike Dennison
Eliza Wiley

This week on "Capitol Talk", tax cut bills are getting a lot of attention at the Montana Legislature this session. One legislator, Nicholas Schwaderer of Superior, introduced a bill that would put income tax cuts up to a vote via referendum. The bill drew bipartisan opposition during its hearing in the House. Schwaderer defended the bill saying, "taxation of income is theft."

Tax cuts could face vetoes from Gov. Bullock, who is intent on keeping at least a $300 million surplus.

Bill Allowing Guns On Campus Advances In Montana Senate

Feb 5, 2015

Today, the Montana Senate passed a bill 26-23 that would make it legal for students to carry guns on college campuses.

The debate during yesterday's second reading centered on second amendment rights and the safety guns could provide for women on campus. These points were heavily debated, first by Senator Kristin Hansen of Havre.

“I don’t think there are a ton of young women who want to carry a handgun ... But I do think there are some and they are qualified to do so.”

Senator Duane Ankney of Colstrip was one Republican to vote against it.

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