Politics

Health
3:09 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

DPHHS unveils new state health initiative

DPHHS Director Richard Opper speaking about the Bullock Administration's new health proposal to a meeting of the Montana Association of Public Health Officials.
Credit Dan Boyce

Gov. Steve Bullock announced a new initiative Thursday to improve health outcomes in the state. The plan, called “Big Sky. New Horizons. A Healthier Montana” outlines a series of strategies to address some of the state’s biggest health and safety concerns, like smoking and motor vehicle fatalities.

“When it comes to healthcare, we will, we have and will continue to have grand policy debates about who pays and how much they should pay,” Bullock said, “but what we shouldn’t lose sight of is there’s so much we can do.”

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State Employee Pay
5:13 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Deal on state employee raises reached, University System still waiting

Hear Dan Boyce's story from "Montana Evening Edition"

Montana’s public employees now just need to wait for state agencies and unions to ratify a plan negotiated with Gov. Steve Bullock in order to receive their first base-pay raises in more than four years.

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GOP Convention
8:06 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

Moderate, conservative Republicans lash out ahead of state GOP convention

Montana’s Republican faithful are preparing for their annual convention this Friday and Saturday, despite an unusually stark division between certain factions of the party—specifically legislators.

The increasingly public split between hardline conservatives and a group of moderates labeling themselves ‘Responsible Republicans’ became apparent throughout the course of the 2013 Legislature, with the moderates breaking away from party leadership to side with Democrats on many of the session’s key issues.

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Politics
6:04 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

Montana's new First Lady narrowing her priorities

First Lady Lisa Bullock reads to students at Bryant Elementary in Helena on Monday
Credit Dan Boyce

Lisa Bullock is moving into her sixth month as Montana’s First Lady and said she is still exploring how she wants to use her new title.

Traditionally, the First Lady takes on a project, a focused effort during the governor’s tenure. For instance, former First Lady Nancy Schweitzer worked on getting kids interested in science and math. The First Lady is not an official state employee, but she does have certain resources available to her, like staff from the Governor’s office.

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2013 Legislature
6:11 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Will Democrats change their minds on key bills to support Bullock vetoes?

Rep. Clarena Brockie (D-Harlem)

Governor Steve Bullock’s office is reaching out to Democratic Lawmakers to uphold his vetoes on some key bills from the 2013 Legislature,  including some bills that were initially supported by almost the entire legislative body.

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2013 Legislature
10:12 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Planned Parenthood sues state over two abortion measures

Planned Parenthood of Montana filed a lawsuit Thursday against two measures restricting the abortion rights of minors, one just passed by the 2013 Legislature and the other passed by Montana voters in 2012.  

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2013 Legislature
9:40 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Time running out for lawmakers to override Bullock vetoes

Credit Natalie Maynor/Flickr

Montana lawmaker have until Monday to cast their votes on whether to override certain vetoes from Governor Steve Bullock.

Bullock vetoed the second highest number of bills in Montana history this year--a total of 71 bills.

Two dozen of those bills were passed by a 2/3rds  majority of the legislature, and thus meet the criteria for a potential veto override. The Secretary of State's office sends out polls on those bills, and if 2/3rds of both the House and Senate vote for them again the veto is overturned.

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Medicaid Rates
9:36 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Disability service providers protest change in Medicaid rate increases

DPHHS Director Richard Opper

Providers of general care for the developmentally disabled are asking the public to speak out against a plan from the state Department of Public Health and Human Services to alter an increase in Medicaid dollars for raises.

DPHHS is proposing to take two-percent of a total four-percent increase in rates for these providers and distribute that money in other ways than just an equal raise to all providers. DPHHS Director Richard Opper says this could include putting in place ‘performance measures’ to give higher raises to facilities operating more successfully.

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Gun Control
1:56 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

President Obama's former campaign manager says fight over gun control not over

Jim Messina, Sally Mauk
Credit William Marcus

The former campaign manager for President Barack Obama, Jim Messina, was in Missoula over the weekend to deliver the commencement address to his alma mater, the University of Montana.

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Campaign Laws
5:27 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Montana receives “F” for its disclosure laws

Credit National Institute on Money in State Politics

A report released this week by the National Institute on Money in State Politics gives Montana a failing grade on its disclosure laws related to campaign spending in elections.

Twenty-five other states received “F”s in the report, while 15 states received an “A”.

“What we found interesting was that the state’s were either great or awful,” said the Institute’s Managing Director Denise Roth Barber. “There were very few in between.”

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