Government & Politics

Democratic House candidate Denise Juneau says she supports the Crow Tribe’s efforts to develop its coal resources. Republican incumbent Ryan Zinke responded that’s not true.

The two verbally sparred on this and other topics at their second debate at MSU Billings.

State School Superintendent Denise Juneau was asked why as a member of the state land board she voted against the Otter Creek Coal leases and whether that was an indication of her position on natural resource development.

The Democrat says she’s voted for mining and timber projects.

Jackie Yamanaka

  Montana’s U-S House candidates took traditional party stances when questioned about how they would balance the federal budget.

The comments came during a debate on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation.

Democratic challenger Denise Juneau said as state school superintendent she runs one of the largest agencies in the state, the Office of Public Instruction.

“And we do a fantastic job of making sure that those funds are distributed, so I get budgeting,” she told the crowd.

Juneau said the problem with the federal budget is corporate tax loopholes.

  The public is invited to watch Montana's U.S. House candidates debate at two events this week. The events will also be broadcast live, statewide.

Congressman Ryan Zinke, R-MT, and Democratic challenger Denise Juneau will face-off for the first time tonight at Frazer school on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation.  Libertarian Mike Fellows was invited but declined.

The event is sponsored by The Glasgow Courier newspaper and the Montana Farm Bureaus of Valley, McCone and Roosevelt counties. 

 Montana’s gubernatorial candidates are scheduled to debate in Billings in September. The campaigns are working to confirm other debate offers.

Eric Hyers, campaign manager for incumbent Steve Bullock, says the Democrat looks forward to showing Montanans the contrasting visions each candidate has for Montana.

“Mr. Gianforte fundamentally wants to change all that makes Montana great,” Hyers says. “We think that’s a contrast that’s very apparent to anyone who watches these debates.”

  

The U.S. House candidates announced an agreement to face-off in a series of 4 debates in Montana.

The candidates agreed to debate in Frazer on the Fort Peck Reservation, Billings, and Great Falls.  The campaigns want to hold a debate on the Crow Reservation, but the details have yet to be finalized.

Heather Swift is the deputy campaign manager and spokeswoman for Incumbent Ryan Zinke. She said the Republican is excited to bring debates to Eastern Montana, particularly on the reservations.

The public is invited to ask questions and direct comments to Yellowstone County’s top law enforcement officials Monday night, Aug. 1, in Billings.

Sheriff Mike Linder will join Police Chief Rich St. John at the latest “Chat with the Chief.”

St. John said it is an open forum.

Jackie Yamanaka

 

One of the owners of Action Electric says he can’t train electricians fast enough.

Max Griffin says he currently has 15 apprentices. He says under the proposal unveiled this week by Governor Steve Bullock he would love to add up to 10 more. He says it would help meet the demand.

“Right now if you need an electrician, a journeyman electrician, try to hire one. It’s impossible,” he says. “There’s that big of a demand, that big of a shortage out there.”

The Billings-based business has an apprenticeship program with  scholarships that pay 100% of the cost.

Jackie Yamanaka

 Governor Steve Bullock projects Montana taxpayers could save about $25 million dollars because of the way it manages medical costs for its state employees.

Under the old system, providers could charge the state of Montana’s health plan different amounts for the same service. Under a new transparent pricing model Allegiance, the state’s third party administrator, is contracting with facilities. Allegiance is using Medicare as a national point of reference for costs. It then pays hospitals a multiple above that.

Jackie Yamanaka

  

Montana’s gubernatorial candidates took only a short break in their campaigns after the June 7, 2016 primary election.  Two days later they were back in Billings to talk about public lands, access to those lands, and guns.

Governor Steve Bullock rolled out his agenda at Riverfront Park near the banks of the Yellowstone River.

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