Montana Public Radio

Kevin Trevellyan

Kevin is a UM Journalism graduate student and reporter for MTPR.

 

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. 

 

State finance officials are generally optimistic about Montana’s budget despite projected revenue impacts from the novel coronavirus-related economic slump.


A Montana lawmaker expressed concern on June 18 over preparations to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus when universities reopen for in-person classes this fall.


Custer County reported a new cluster of six related COVID-19 cases June 17. As a result, county health officials today issued a two-week recommendation for residents to operate as if they’re back under Phase 1 of Montana’s economic reopening plan.


Montana’s health department distributed between $84 million and $163 million in Medicaid and Child Health Insurance Program benefits to people ineligible for those programs, according to an audit presented to lawmakers June 16. State officials emphatically reject several of the audit’s key findings.

An estimated 1,000 people gathered outside the Montana State Capitol June 14 to protest the death of George Floyd in police custody and police treatment of people of color. The protest was mostly nonviolent, though a riot control team stepped in at one point to separate attendees and counter-protestors.


State agencies have spent a sliver of the $1.25 billion in federal coronavirus relief funds at Montana’s disposal.

Roughly $24 million in federal CARES Act relief funds have been used. That's about 19 percent of what the governor’s office has appropriated so far. That money goes toward business stabilization grants, housing assistance, social service nonprofits and other expenditures.

Next week, Montana lawmakers will hold their first in person interim legislative meetings since the novel coronavirus pandemic began. Related safety precautions will make meetings at the capitol look a bit different.

 

Montana has the seventh lowest 2020 Census return rate among all states after one fifth of its households weren’t initially mailed invitations to participate. Counting has been especially difficult in rural reaches of the Treasure State.

Montana lawmakers on June 9 formed a bipartisan working group to consider the possibility of a remote 2021 legislative session. Legislators also sparred over the importance of wearing face masks during physical meetings amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

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