Government & Politics

Jackie Yamanaka

U.S. Senator Jon Tester said repeal of the federal Affordable Care Act appears imminent.

Tester was invited to speak today before the Montana House of Representatives. Tester said there’s an incredible opportunity to find a bipartisan solution that can make healthcare affordable for middle class families.


Legislative Services

Clarification and correction:  Jake Troyer of the Montana Department of Labor and Industry clarified the pilot audit as part of the HELP Act identified fraud instances in the Unemployment Insurance Program.

Montana identified over $830,000 in Medicaid payments that went out to people who don’t deserve the federal-state healthcare program aimed at helping the working poor.  

Montana’s Medicaid expansion program, known as the HELP Act, was passed by the 2015 Montana Legislature and signed into law. It contained a provision to tackle waste, fraud and abuse.


Jackie Yamanaka

By MICHAEL SIEBERT

Community News Service

University of Montana School of Journalism

Budget subcommittees proposed further cuts to Gov. Steve Bullock’s budget throughout the second week of the Montana Legislature.

“If we can get through the budget and balance it, that will be probably all we can do,” said Rep. Nancy Ballance, R-Hamilton.

Montana Lawmakers Weigh Privacy in the Digital Age

Jan 16, 2017
Jackie Yamanaka

By MICHAEL SIEBERT

Community News Service

University of Montana School of Journalism

Section 10 of Montana’s Constitution states that “the right of individual privacy is essential to the well-being of a free society and shall not be infringed without the showing of a compelling state interest.”

 

Jackie Yamanaka

In principal, the main bill that funds road, water, and other infrastructure projects continues to have broad support.

“We do fully support the notion of increased funding at that local level for critical infrastructure, like roads, bridges, water and sewer and the use of bonding in supporting that infrastructure,” said Darryl James of the Montana Infrastructure Coalition.


Jackie Yamanaka

Lawmakers are evaluating proposals to improve irrigation, water and sewer systems. It’s the beginning of the process to decide which infrastructure projects are funded.


Jackie Yamanaka

State Attorney General Tim Fox has made investigating, enforcing and prosecuting crimes related to human trafficking a priority. In this week’s Capitol Connections, Fox talks about why this issue is important to him and the Montana Department of Justice.

In part two of the program, Senator Diane Sands, D-Missoula, provides an update on the work to update Montana’s sexual assault laws. In the 2015 session, Sands sponsored the bill to study sexual assault. She’s also a member of that Law and Justice Interim Committee that worked on a package of bills working their way through the 2017 session.


Jackie Yamanaka

Possible budget cuts to the Department of Justice could force investigators to cancel proactive investigations into allegations of human trafficking in Montana. It was just one of the impacts brought to lawmaker’s attention if a 5% budget reduction is adopted.

The 2017 Legislature is faced with a dwindling savings account and slower revenue growth as they work to balance the state’s budget for the coming biennium. Joint House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees are delving now into the agency’s budgets.


Jackie Yamanaka

GOP lawmakers lined up behind their leaders to challenge the Bullock Administration’s budget proposals

Republican legislators blame Democratic Governor Steve Bullock for Montana’s budget woes, saying they’ll fix the state’s ailing finances.


Jackie Yamanaka

The Montana Department of Justice reports there’s been a 100% increase in human trafficking cases between 2015 and 2016.  Attorney General Tim Fox says the number of rescues of both adult and juvenile victims was also up during this timeframe.


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