Montana Public Radio

Greg Gianforte

Bull elk

A last-minute addition to a Montana fish and wildlife bill signed into law on Friday reinvigorated a long-running debate over the role of money in hunting in Montana.

Illustration showing a woman holding an infant while working on a computer.

Child care isn’t easy to find or pay for in Montana. While research shows the lack of affordable child care options has major impacts on the state’s economy and workforce, Montana lawmakers came out of the 2021 legislative session with fundamental disagreements about how to address the problem.

Montana Department of Agriculture

Gov. Greg Gianforte is tapping former Montana Department of Agriculture Director Mike Foster to oversee the rollout of $1.5 billion of COVID relief funding flowing into the state.

A woman smiling as she removes her COVID mask.

Federal health officials say people fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can go about life mask-free, though some places still require them. Some local health officials say the change could motivate unvaccinated people to get the shot.

School hallway.

Gov. Greg Gianforte Wednesday signed into law a significant increase to a tax credit for donors to school choice scholarship programs. The program benefits both public and private schools, but the bill eases restrictions on what private schools are required to do in order to receive funding. 

Gov. Gianforte signs SB 297 with (seated left to right) Sen. Jason Ellsworth, Jessica Foster, Rep. Sharon Greef, and Mark Grotbo, Dominic Farrenkopf, Victoria Clark, and Jason Pond, May 11, 2021.
Gov. Gianforte's office

Funding for projects to expand high-speed Internet across Montana is moving forward under a bill signed by Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte.

Tourists at the Apgar Visitor Center in Glacier National Park.
GlacierNPS (PD)

America’s employers added just 266,000 jobs last month. That’s sharply lower than in March and a sign that some businesses are struggling to find enough workers as the economic recovery strengthens. It’s a problem for Montana’s hospitality industry, which expects tourists to return in droves this summer.

Republican Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte has signed into law a policy that county officials say prevents them from enforcing emergency public health restrictions, like mask mandates.

The law prohibits local governments from making businesses follow mandates that prevent them from offering goods or services to a customer. It also curbs local governments’ authority to issue fines for not following health orders.

Bison in Yellowstone National Park.
Yellowstone National Park

Montana officials are butting heads over the future of the national mammal. At stake is whether bison should be treated as livestock or as wildlife. New legislation and policy changes under the Gianforte administration are derailing hopes of establishing the first free-roaming bison herds in the state.

Sign on a business door that says 'Attention: for the safety of our patrons and employees, masks are required for entry. Thank you for helpping slow the spread of COVID-19.'

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte signed into law a bill Friday that prohibits actions — such as those taken to prevent the spread of the coronavirus — that would affect the bottom line for businesses.

As a result of the new law, both Lewis and Clark and Gallatin counties said they could no longer enforce mask mandates.