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

This week on Capitol Connections YPR's Jackie Yamanaka is joined in conversation by two state Representatives, Daniel Zolnikov, R-Billings, and Kim Abbott, D-Helena.

Jackie Yamanaka

Senate Bill 331, like Montana’s existing resort tax, would have allowed larger municipalities to ask their voters whether to impose a sales tax on so-called luxury goods and services purchased by tourists and visitors.  This bill had a twist in that it would sunset after the identified infrastructure project was completed.


Jackie Yamanaka

The Senate gave preliminary approval to a bill to continue to allow tribal members to hunt buffalo near Yellowstone National Park in accordance with the traditional ceremonies of each tribe.

There had been a sunset on the original legislation that granted 2 free state issued buffalo hunting permits per year to tribes. House Bill 108 seeks to continue the practice.


Jackie Yamanaka

Senate Republicans are moving quickly on an infrastructure bill. The Senate Finance and Claims committee on a 15-3 vote Friday afternoon approved a nearly $99 million dollar bonding bill. The action sends Senate Bill 367 to the floor for debate.

The Bullock Administration supported the Senate bill but spoke against the House Republican’s infrastructure package this morning.

Jackie Yamanaka

The pace is picking up at the Montana Legislature. A Senate committee has begun its work on the state’s main budget bill, less than a week after receiving it from the House.

Welcome to Capitol Connections. I’m Jackie Yamanaka. This week, we’ll check in with Senate President Scott Sales, but first an update on funding for early childhood and special education.


Jackie Yamanaka

House Democrats say they won’t support a new House Republican infrastructure proposal that would issue bonds to pay for rural water, wastewater, some road and school projects.

When it comes to infrastructure at the Montana Legislature even a simple matter over whether there were negotiations on the topic is up for dispute.


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 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.


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