Steve Bullock

Jackie Yamanaka

The fact Montana lawmakers were going into this week's special legislative session with no pre-negotiated "deal" in place gave many at the Capitol heartburn. The session wrapped up shortly after 1 a.m. Thursday morning. Governor Steve Bullock called legislators back to the Capitol to help address a projected $227 million dollar budget shortfall and backfill the state's depleted wildfire fighting fund. 

Jackie Yamanaka

The gavel banged down shortly after 1 o’clock this morning to bring the special legislative session to a close after lawmakers passed a series of bills to address Montana's projected $227 million budget shortfall.

Jackie Yamanaka

Montana lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow the state to accept $30 million from CoreCivic, the company that runs the private prison that houses some of the state's inmates. The company has offered to give the state that money in exchange for another 10 year contract to run the Shelby facility. The bill's sponsor says if Governor Steve Bullock accepts that offer then $15 m of that money would go into the wildfire fund and the rest could be used to soften cuts to state agency budgets.  Senate Bill 9 is part of the Republican majority's plan during the special legislative session to address the projected $227 m budget shortfall.

Jackie Yamanaka

Montana’s only private prison has allegedly offered a $30 million dollar bailout to help the state with its budget woes. However, there's a catch.

In order to receive the $30 million dollars from CoreCivic, the company that owns the prison, the Bullock administration would need to extend that company’s contract for another ten years.


401kcalculator.org

Montana can keep its voter enacted campaign contribution limits.  That’s the ruling from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, overturning a judge’s decision.


Jackie Yamanaka

Republican legislative leaders are skeptical that the Bullock Administration's revenue projections are correct. Because of that they told reporters during a conference call Wednesday it is premature to talk about a special legislative session to address the state budget.


Jackie Yamanaka

Montana and Wyoming would be the perfect laboratories to test carbon capture technologies, that’s according to speakers talking about the subject at a forum in Billings, including Montana Governor Steve Bullock.

Fire drought
Nate Hegyi / YPR

State climatologist Kelsey Jencso says what folks are seeing this summer -- extreme fires, sudden droughts, snowpacks melting quickly -- may be a vision of Montana’s future.

After almost five years on the job, Montana’s Commissioner of Labor and Industry, Pam Bucy, is moving into the private sector.

“I’m going to stay in Helena. I’m going to join a law firm, The Taylor Luther Group. We’ll be focusing primarily on business and employment law and government relations,” Bucy says.

Extreme fires, flash droughts, and fast-melting snowpacks are all predicted in the state's first ever climate assessment, which is slated for release on September 20th.
U.S. Bureau of Land Management

If you’re wondering what climate change will look like in Montana, state climatologist Kelsey Jencso says take a look outside. 

“This is certainly what the future may look like,” he says.

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