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Power plant at Colstrip, MT.
Beth Saboe / MontanaPBS

As state lawmakers debate bills designed to keep the strip mine and coal fired power plant at Colstrip open as long as possible, a social experimenter in Helena is convening an event aimed at the heart of the debate over whether fossil fuel-based economies should have a place in Montana’s Future. Tate Chamberlin has pulled together activists, politicians, and entrepreneurs to dive deep into thorny questions around coal, jobs, and climate change. I asked him what he has in mind.

Montana Commissioner of Securities and Insurance Matthew Rosendale.
Montana Legislature

State Auditor Matt Rosendale has approved a nearly 8 percent reduction in Montana's workers compensation costs. The decrease takes effect this summer.

Rosendale says Montana's work comp rates have decreased ever since the 2011 legislative session:

Recruiters At UM Say They're Looking For Talent And Ready To Hire
flickr user Neetal Parekh (CC-BY-NC-2)

Recruiters representing over 70 employers from across the region visited the University of Montana this week. They were interviewing students for jobs and internships. According to Steve Arveschoug of Big Sky Economic Development, there’s no shortage of good jobs available right now in the Billings area.

Bill Could Exempt Outdoor Seasonal Workers From Overtime, Minimum Wage

Feb 21, 2017

HELENA -- Montana lawmakers heard testimony on House Bill 496 Tuesday that would add seasonal outdoor recreation employees to a list of people who wouldn't necessarily be eligible for minimum wage or overtime pay.

Supporters of a bill to create a so-called Montana Paycheck Transparency Act say it will help make sure men and women are paid equally for doing equal work.
seniorliving.org

Supporters of a bill to create a so-called Montana Paycheck Transparency Act say it will help make sure men and women are paid equally for doing equal work.

Diane Sands, a Missoula Democrat, introduced Senate Bill 217 Wednesday morning in the state Senate.

(PD)

Sheila Stearns is barely three months into her interim position as president of the University of Montana.  The former Commissioner of Higher Education and UM alumna freely admits that she has plenty to learn about what’s happening on campus.

Hospital monitor.
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

Healthcare employment in Montana grew by more than 3 percent last year, after years of growth below 1 percent. That's according to the new annual report from the University of Montana's Bureau of Business and Economic Research.

2016 was the first full year of Medicaid expansion in Montana under the Affordable Care Act, which helped the state's uninsured rate drop by nearly two-thirds.

Montana Economy Slowed In 2016, BBER Reports

Jan 24, 2017
Montana's economy slowed significantly in 2016, and continued slow growth is projected for this year.
Courtesy BBER Montana

Montana's economy slowed significantly in 2016, and continued slow growth is projected for this year. That's according to new numbers released today by economists at the University of Montana.

Hospital monitor.
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

If you’re wondering how repealing the Affordable Care Act will impact Montana, Indian country is a good place to look.

To Native healthcare leaders, Obamacare provides a great opportunity to create jobs.

More than 60,000 Montanans now have health insurance because of the HELP Act, the Medicaid expansion program narrowly passed by state lawmakers in 2015. The oversight committee in charge of reviewing that program met in Helena on Tuesday to check in on the Medicaid expansion. 

John Goodnow, chair of the oversight committee, says because of the HELP Act, a lot of uninsured Montanans now have coverage: 

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