Jon Tester

A group of 27 state Republican legislators are asking federal lawmakers to hold a hearing on the federal Montana Water Rights Protection Act in Kalispell. The group includes prominent opponents to the legislation.

If passed, the bill would be the largest water-rights settlement agreement in history between the U.S. Government and a federally recognized tribe. The Montana Water Rights Protection Act would settle a decades-long dispute over thousands of water-rights claims filed by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.

U.S. Sen. Jon Tester holds a Facebook town hall to discuss health care on June 30, 2020.
Kevin Trevellyan/Yellowstone Public Radio

 

U.S. Senator Jon Tester joined other congressional Democrats this week in rebuking the Trump administration's latest attempt to overturn the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare. 

Telehealth virutal home screen
Sofia Stuart-Rasi

This story is part of a series that looks at potentially lasting ways Montana adapted during the pandemic. It’s funded in part by the Solutions Journalism Network. 

After the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began advising against face to face interactions, Montana healthcare providers sought to expand non emergency telehealth appointments. It's a trend that could keep going.

The U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee held its first hearing Wednesday on the Montana Water Rights Protection Act. The legislation would settle long-disputed water rights claims of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.

Senate Passes Bill Permanently Funding Public Land Management Programs

Jun 17, 2020

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday passed a landmark bill to permanently fund public lands management programs and maintenance in national parks.

*UPDATED 06/13 

The U.S. Agriculture Secretary visited Missoula Friday to announce a blueprint to prioritize work for the U.S Forest Service.

Supporters say it will modernize the agency and cut unnecessary red tape. Opponents, however, counter it will undermine the nation’s laws aimed at protecting the environment.

Rachel Cramer

Montana’s first all mail-in ballot primary election didn’t provide many surprises last night. But it did produce several high profile general election races.

A photo taken on September 28, 2010 of the Blackfeet Nation Tribe sign
Loco Steve / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Native American tribes in Montana are beginning to use federal funds to bolster their response to the novel coronavirus.

The Crow Tribe announced they received $25 million from the U.S. Treasury. The Little Shell Chippewa Tribe received $25 million, per Chairman Gerald Gray. According to the office of Sen. Steve Daines, the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux tribes received over $24 million.

Missoula Club Bar & Grill in Missoula
John Lloyde/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Over 10,000 loans totaling nearly $1.3 billion have been approved for small businesses in Montana as part of the federal coronavirus relief package.

Out of the $350 billion allocated to small businesses nationwide through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), nearly $250 billion in loans had been approved as of Apr. 13.

Gov. Bullock's complaint about the federal response to Montana's pandemic equipment needs yields results. Sen. Daines has a new campaign ad bragging about that aid. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Whitney Williams wants to have an online debate with her primary election opponent. Montana will have its first-ever statewide mail-in primary election. And in a close vote, the public service commission decides not to sponsor a forum on climate change.

Listen now on Campaign Beat, with Sally Mauk, Rob Saldin and Holly Michels.

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