Steve Daines

Logging & Litigation
5:44 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

Sen. Daines Talks Logging Litigation At Missoula Roundtable

Sen. Steve Daines
Credit Courtesy photo

Today in Missoula, Senator Steve Daines held the second of three meetings he’s called to talk timber issues. He’ll do the same in Bozeman tomorrow.

The Republican Freshman Senator is calling the meetings “Timber Management Reform Roundtables,” and he’s invited mostly timber industry representatives to give him input on what they need to maintain or grow their operations.

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2015 Legislature
5:54 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

SRS Funding Bill Could Bring Relief To Montana Timber Counties

Montana's U.S. senators are getting behind a new bill they say will help Montana's most rural counties round-out their budgets.

Mineral County Commissioner Duane Simons says communities like his are reeling after Congress failed to renew the Secure Rural Schools Act last fall.

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Forest Management
6:36 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

Sen. Daines Holds Forest Management Roundtables To Find Ways To Boost Logging

Senator Steve Daines started his “Forest Management Reform Roundtables” at F.H. Stoltze lumber in Columbia Falls, MT.
Credit Eric Whitney

Tuesday in Columbia Falls, Senator Steve Daines kicked off a series of three meetings in western Montana that he’s calling “Forest Management Reform Roundtables.”

Around the table were executives from three timber mills, county commissioners from Sanders, Lincoln and Mineral counties, and Montana leaders of The Wilderness Society, The Nature Conservancy,  and the National Parks Conservation Organization.

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Secure Rural Schools Funding
3:53 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

Sen. Tester Backs Secure Rural Schools, PILT Funding Bill

Sen. Jon Tester

Democratic Senator Jon Tester has signed-on to a new bill that he says would bring badly-needed financial security to Montana's most rural and timber-dependent counties.

Senator Tester says the "Secure Rural Schools and Payment in Lieu of Taxes Repair Act" would annually reauthorize Montana's SRS payments for three years at $23 million, the level provided in 2011.

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Daines Meetings Feb. 17, 20 & 21
5:56 pm
Fri February 13, 2015

Montana Senators Seeking Input On Transportation, Timber Issues

Sen. Steve Daines
Credit Courtesy photo

Montana’s Senators are back from Washington and gathering input on transportation and timber issues.

Friday Democrat Jon Tester convened several panels in Helena to prepare for when the federal highway bill expires in May. He invited representatives from transportation, Chamber of Commerce and agriculture and construction companies to talk about the importance of good highways and bridges in Montana.

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Feb. 15 Deadline
4:20 pm
Mon February 9, 2015

Deadline Approaching To Get Insurance Through The Affordable Care Act

This is the last week for Montanans to shop for health insurance on HealthCare.gov. The deadline is Sunday, February 15. And it’s a hard deadline, says Jeff Hinson, with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

"They will not be able to enroll after the 15th, unless they have a life-changing event."

A life-changing event is something like leaving a job with insurance benefits, getting married or divorced, or having child.

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SRS Funding
5:22 pm
Fri February 6, 2015

Loss Of Secure Rural Schools Funding Takes A Toll On Montana's Timber Counties

Credit Bell & Jeff (CC-BY-2.0)

Montana's timber counties recently lost lots of federal revenue. Local officials say public services are going to suffer as a result.

"It's very scary. We're pretty bare bones out here the way it is," said Mineral County Commissioner Duane Simons.

"What do we do? We've got a four-man road crew. Do you lay four guys off? Do you lay three guys off? We've got some real difficult choices ahead of us here."

He's talking about the loss of federal "Secure Rural Schools" funds. The program expired this fall and wasn't reauthorized by Congress.

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Public Land Management
6:08 pm
Wed February 4, 2015

Conservationists Feel 'Sucker Punched' By Daines Public Lands Votes

Senator Steve Daines.

Montana’s new Senator, Republican Steve Daines, is asking Montanans for their input on how to better manage public lands in the state, but some conservation groups are wondering if he really wants to hear from them.

Rick Potts, who’s on the Montana Wilderness Association’s state council, is troubled by some recent Daines votes.

"I know my colleagues in the Montana Wilderness Association and Backcountry Hunters and Anglers as well, feel like they’ve been sucker punched. They didn’t see this coming."

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Keystone XL Pipeline
5:07 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Tester, Daines Join Senate In Passing Keystone Pipeline Bill

Pipes for the Keystone Pipeline, waiting to be laid in Nebraska in 2009.
Credit shannonpatrick17 (CC-BY-2.0)

Both of Montana’s Senators voted today for the bill to build the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Democrat Jon Tester says he looks forward to the day when clean, renewable resources provide most of America's energy needs:

"But until we get to a point when that's affordable and available, it appears to me that I'd rather do business with Canada than I would the Middle East."

Tester says the recent Bridger Pipeline oil spill on the Yellowstone River was not only a catastrophe, but entirely preventable.

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Capitol Talk
4:30 pm
Fri January 9, 2015

'Capitol Talk' Returns To Guide You Through The 2015 Legislature

Credit Eliza Wiley

Rules debates, the home-schooled chair of the House Education committee, Medicaid expansion, and two new murals honoring Montana women at the state capitol; Sally Mauk, Chuck Johnson, and Mike Dennison talk about all this and more in this episode of "Capitol Talk".

"Capitol Talk," our weekly legislative news and analysis program, appears on Fridays throughout the legislative session. MTPR's Sally Mauk is joined by Lee Newspapers reporters Chuck Johnson and Mike Dennison.

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