News

Jackie Yamanaka

The House Appropriations Committee is expected to vote this week on a bill that would give a one-percent pay raise for state employees.


Josh Burnham / MTPR

The House Appropriations committee unanimously approved a bill to pay for some capital improvement projects for numerous state facilities.  The committee’s action came after several lawmakers criticized building projects at the University of Montana.

House Bill 5 includes a myriad of projects, including for several life/safety repairs and maintenance at state facilities. The committee approved an amendment to give the Montana University System the authority to spend money raised privately by some of the campuses.


(Flickr/Todd Klassy) (https://flic.kr/p/qukd81)

Yesterday, the Billings Gazette reported that three oil refineries and a sugar beet factory in town are not polluting the air.

They interviewed a couple of staff from nearby facilities but did not talk to David Klemp– Air Quality Bureau Chief for the Department of Environmental Quality– the guy who's in charge of this information.

(Flickr Photo) (https://flic.kr/p/aJaQVF)

Today lawmakers gave initial approval to a bill that would give the Montana Attorney General’s office $80,000 to intervene in a Washington state rate case that involves coal-fired power plants in Colstrip.

Rep. Jim Keane, D-Butte, sponsored House Bill 22 to ensure the attorney general’s office has enough money to represent the state’s interest in the pending closure of Units 1 and 2.

Jackie Yamanaka

The Montana House, on a 56-44 vote, gave preliminary approval to a bill that would ban the application of foreign laws in state courts. Proponents and opponents have dubbed Senate Bill 97 the Sharia law measure. Opponents said it targets Muslims.


Jackie Yamanaka

Legislators are considering legislation to help the citizens of Colstrip and the state of Montana weather the pending closure of 2 coal fired power plants by requiring the plants owners compensate the community for the economic loss.  


MSUB University Relations

We live in a democracy, but what exactly does that mean? And how does the American system of government differ from others around the world?

Democracies will be under the microscope in the new spring lecture series “Frontiers of Democracy: Exploring the Past and Looking to the Future” at the Montana State University Billing Library.

Montana Office of Tourism

Lawmakers are considering whether to give local governments the authority to ask their voters to approve a local option sales tax. The money raised would be used to provide property tax relief and pay for public works projects. 

Senate Bill 331 is based on the existing resort tax model that’s assessed on goods and services purchased by tourists.  Current state law restricts the resort tax only for communities with a population under 5,500 and draw a high number of tourists. Local residents vote to impose this tax. The money collected pays for public works projects and property tax relief.


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