MTPR

Patrick Barkey

Cash register.
(PD)

Late last year Montana lawmakers carved about $170 million from state spending. That led to big cuts – for example, the state health department lost 4.5 percent of its budget, which slashed critical services for some of Montana’s most vulnerable.

Would a new revenue source, such as a sales tax, help prevent future budget crises?

Power plant at Colstrip, MT.
Beth Saboe, MontanaPBS

A new study funded in part by the coal industry says shutting down of Colstrip’s two newer, larger coal-fired electricity generators in the next decade could have a huge impact statewide.

Colstrip’s two older units, 1 and 2, will shut down no later than July 2022 because of a Clean Air Act lawsuit settlement. But the future of the newer units, 3 and 4, remains uncertain.

Cash register.
(PD)

Americans had until midnight Wednesday to file their taxes this year. Next year, they’ll be filing under the tax cuts signed into law by President Donald Trump.

Montana’s Republican U.S. House Rep. Greg Gianforte is pretty excited about that.

Drivers of economic activity in Flathead County.
UM Bureau of Business and Economic Research

Health care has emerged as a major driver of the Flathead Valley economy, researchers from the University of Montana and local experts said Tuesday. MTPR's Nicky Ouellet reports from the 2018 Economic Outlook Seminar in Kalispell.

Patrick Barkey, director of the BBER, presenting the 2018 Montana Economic report in Helena, Tuesday, January 23, 2018.
Corin Cates-Carney

University of Montana researchers expect the state’s economy to kick up this year, following a lackluster performance in 2016 and 2017.

Although earnings in Montana grew over the last two years, those earnings fell short of projections made by researchers at UM’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research.

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