Jackie Yamanaka

News Director

Jackie Yamanaka has been news director at YPR since 1986.  From her home base in Billings, Jackie covers a wide range of issues across Montana and Wyoming. During the Montana Legislative session, she re-locates to the state Capitol in Helena where she has another office.

During her tenure she has won numerous journalism awards from Public Radio News Directors, Inc.; The Society of Professional Journalists, The Montana Broadcaster’s Association EB Craney Awards; The Montana Associated Press; and elsewhere.

Jackie received a degree in Mass Communications from Eastern Montana College (now Montana State University Billings).  She is secretary of the Montana Freedom of Information Hotline (http://www.montanafoi.org/) and a past board member of Public Radio News Directors, Inc.  When she’s not working she enjoys running and hiking with her dogs, fishing, shooting sporting clays, and playing tennis.

Ways to Connect

Jackie Yamanaka

Motorists will pay a little bit more at the pump under a bill that appears headed for the finish line. The additional money raised is earmarked to fix the state’s crumbling roads and bridges.

House Bill 473 sought to raise the tax on a gallon of gasoline by 8 cents a gallon, but an amendment lowered that to 4 ½ cents. 


A Republican lawmaker says if the Legislature doesn’t take action, property taxes are going to go up for homeowners, farmers and ranchers because of property reappraisal. 

Wolf Point Public Schools

The sponsor of a bonding bill to pay for building projects across Montana says doing nothing is not an option.  The House Appropriations Committee is considering Senate Bill 367.   

Today’s hearing came after the House Appropriations Committee again yesterday rejected House Bill 645, the chamber’s own bonding proposal.

Jackie Yamanaka

Representative Jim Keane often refers to his infrastructure bills as “vehicles” that he's steering  through the legislative process.  This morning’s stop was at the Senate Finance and Claims Committee.

Keane uses the “truck” metaphor often. He says all of these infrastructure bill are loaded with money to help pay for projects all across Montana to help communities fix their crumbling water and sewer systems and bridges, as well as fund other long range needs.

Jackie Yamanaka

Over past legislative sessions, lawmakers have given no love to the proposal to build a new home for the Montana Historical Society no love.

This time, supporters are taking a different tack. Instead of tucking funding into an omnibus bonding bill, supporters have their own bill and their own funding stream.

Jackie Yamanaka

The 65th Legislative Assembly is heading into its final weeks and the pace is picking up.

On this week’s program: the budget and suicide prevention

(USDA NRCS)

Now that both the full House and Senate have had their a chance to work on the state’s main budget bill, attention is returning to what legislative leaders have said is the priority this session—infrastructure.

Jackie Yamanaka

The House Education Committee approved an interim study bill to review the current structure of the Montana University system.

In 1994, the Montana Board of Regents took the separate campuses and consolidated them under either the University of Montana or Montana State University.

Representative Kathy Kelker, D-Billings, said House Joint Resolution 27 would look at how that reorganization has fared over the past 2 dozen years.

Montana State University

Lawmakers gave preliminary approval to two bills that issue bonds to pay for numerous public works and building projects. Changes to House Bill 645 now make the proposal closer to the Senate’s bonding bill.


Jackie Yamanaka

U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke today announced he lifted the moratorium on federal coal leases.   

The action came after President Donald Trump signed an executive order yesterday that included calling on a review of that moratorium.

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