Regional Politics

Montana’s senators on Tuesday took opposite votes on whether to begin debate on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act.

An automatic state budget cut could pull tens of millions of dollars out of the state firefighting fund as early as Tuesday.

During the legislative session earlier this year state lawmakers approved a bill that triggers budget cuts based on how much revenue is coming in.

One Big Sky Center

The Billings City Council will decide if they’ll grant an extension on a development agreement between the city and the developers of One Big Sky Center project Monday. The agreement will determine how much tax increment financing (TIF) they'll get the go ahead to work with.

But what exactly is TIF? The developers of this project are seeking up to $35 million of it to support a multi-purpose structure downtown.

Montana Senator Steve Daines earlier this year.
Jackie Yamanaka

Two years would be too long for an Affordable Care Act replacement plan, according to Montana Senator Steve Daines.

After the Senate’s attempt to replace the Affordable Care Act collapsed last night, Republicans came up with a different plan: repealing Obamacare and replacing it within the next two years. But that idea failed on Tuesday afternoon. 

In an interview with Yellowstone Public Radio Tuesday morning, Daines said he would support a bill repealing Obamacare, but he would want a replacement plan in action as soon as possible.

As Governor Steve Bullock begins his final term, the Democrat is starting to raise money with ambitions of stepping onto the national political stage. 

The chair of Montana’s utility regulators violated state ethics during the 2016 election, according to a decision released today by Montana’s Commissioner of Political Practices.

Interim Indian Health Service Director Rear Admiral Michael Weahkee
YouTube / Montana Public Radio

Montana’s Democratic Senator Jon Tester wants to know how the Trump administration’s proposed 2018 federal budget will affect the Indian Health Service.

So, on Wednesday Tester turned to the troubled agency’s new acting director, Rear Admiral Michael Weahkee for answers.

It didn’t go well.

Montana Senator Steve Daines
Jackie Yamanaka

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced today the Senate will delay their August recess.

This is the first time in over 20 years that the Senate has stalled in taking their five-week-long summer break.

Montana’s backlogged sexual assault evidence kits will undergo lab testing beginning this month. Last fall, the state got a $2 million federal grant to fund cataloging and testing of the unsubmitted so-called rape kits. 

Attorney General Tim Fox joined Governor Steve Bullock in Missoula today for a ceremony to sign six bills updating Montana’s sexual assault laws.

They posed with Missoula Democratic Senator Diane Sands, who carried two of the bills, the most prominent of which removes force from the definition of sexual assault.

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