Government & Politics

MTPR News Director Eric Whitney: By my count there are at least five formally declared candidates, and then there's Billings Judge Russel Fagg, who hasn't officially declared, but he certainly looks like a candidate. Is Fagg really just exploring a Senate run, or is he just saying that?

MSU Political Science Professor David Parker joins us with a look at the 2018 Senate race.

Running Weasel of the Blackfoot Confederacy sits on horseback near the historic Roosevelt Arch near Yellowstone National Park.
Nate Hegyi / YPR

Tribal leaders from Canada and the American West gathered in Yellowstone National Park on Saturday. They were there to protest places named after early explorers who advocated for the mass killing of Native Americans.

Montana Secretary of State Corey Stapleton pushed back against allegations Thursday that his office is claiming more than 300 cases of voter fraud in the May special election. The Republican Secretary of State says any reports claiming he made such allegations are false.

Congressman Greg Gianforte is kicking off what he’s calling a “Forest Jobs Tour” tomorrow in Helena. A press release says, “Gianforte will hold a roundtable briefing on the status of the Stonewall Project with key stakeholders.”

The Stonewall project is a U.S. Forest Service vegetation management proposal that called for logging, thinning and controlled-burning about 5,000 acres north of Lincoln. Shortly after it was approved in 2016 a federal judge temporarily halted it in response to a lawsuit from the Alliance for the Wild Rockies.

Last night Senator Steve Daines held what he calls a “tele-townhall,” one of the periodic conference calls he invites Montanans to join, in which he takes a few questions from callers. This one was also live streamed on his Facebook page. The topic was forest management and wildfires.

The Secretary of State’s Office will expand on its claims of illegal votes cast during the special election earlier this year before a joint legislative committee on Thursday, September 14.

State lawmakers want to know more about why the cost of health care keeps rising, and make it easier for Montanans to know the prices for health care procedures up front. The state Legislature says that’s a top priority ahead of the next legislative session.

A group lawmakers, healthcare and insurance representatives charged with studying health care costs and price transparency met for the first time at the capitol Tuesday.

A crowd of more than 50 healthcare workers, patients, and advocates chanted outside the state capitol Tuesday afternoon protesting the Montana health department’s plan to reduce funding for Medicaid services.

They came for their first opportunity to testify before a legislative committee that’s also questioning the priorities of Governor Steve Bullock’s administration as it trims the state budget in the face of a continuing state revenue shortfall.

A state legislative committee heard protests over proposed cuts to Medicaid Monday.

The cuts Montana's Department of Public Health and Human Services is planning are in response to the Legislature cutting its budget by $8.6 million. They would result in lower payments to health care professionals, and end some case-management services.

When the Blackfeet Tribe learned its tribal members were about to start receiving payouts from a massive federal court settlement, the tribe wanted to get ahead of some of the problems that can arise when a lot of money floods a cash-based society.

"There was about 150 some million dollars that was injected into this economy here," says Mark Magee, the Blackfeet Tribe’s land department director.

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