Montana Public Radio

Kurt Alme

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.

Individual income tax revenue forecast for the 2023 biennium as of March 19, 2021. Income tax is the state's largest revenue source.
Legislative Fiscal Division

Forecasters say Montana’s state revenues are getting a major boost from federal stimulus, and the health of state coffers is easier to estimate now than in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Legislative fiscal analysts gave that update to lawmakers Friday

With limited information, Montana lawmakers are beginning to sort out how to spend nearly $1 billion in state funds from the federal coronavirus relief package signed into law last week.

Of Montana’s slice from the American Rescue Plan Act, the Legislature needs to appropriate an estimated $910 million in discretionary state money.

State relief spending must generally be tied to coronavirus-related impacts, though lawmakers have more latitude with water, sewer and broadband infrastructure dollars.

Hearing room at the Montana Capitol.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

Montana’s governor is calling this "Tax Reform Week." Gov. Greg Gianforte’s proposals to change a slew of tax policies for residents and businesses got their first hearing in the state Legislature. An income tax cut proposal received the most debate Thursday morning. 

Structural Balance: HJ 2 revenues are expected to dip below the Governor's proposed ongoing expenditures beginning in FY 2021.
Montana Legislative Fiscal Division

The first state budget offered by Gov. Greg Gianforte includes tax cuts and a marginal increase in general fund spending.

Montana Capitol building.
Nick Mott / Montana Public Radio

Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte has put his support behind a proposal to raise state employee pay by 55 cents an hour in 2023.

Active coronavirus cases by Montana County, November 10, 2020.
Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services

Republican Governor-elect Greg Gianforte has put together a task force that will help inform the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic when he assumes office in January.

The investigation continues into an alleged arson at a fire station just outside of Kalispell.
Flickr user Ariane Middel (CC-BY-2.0)

Montana's most populous county has seen a sharp increase in violent crime since the coronavirus pandemic began, driven by more domestic abuse and drug-related crimes, federal and local authorities said Tuesday.

A new federal task force formed to address high rates of missing and murdered indigenous people met in Washington, D.C. for the first time Jan. 29.

A recent Montana case highlights its limitations.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Thursday it won’t pursue federal charges in the death of a young girl whose body was found near Lame Deer on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation late last year. The Office determined it could not prove foul play.