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Montana Politics

Empty school classroom
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The Governor’s Office and the Office of Public Instruction put out two separate plans earlier this month providing guidance to school districts as they try to hash out what K-12 education might look like in the fall. Districts say both plans are by and large the same, but lack some specifics.

Flavored vape products on display at an Oct. 30, 2019 state district court hearing in Hamilton over Montana's temporary vape ban.
Edward O'Brien / Montana Public Radio

A state legislative committee this week voted to formally object to a Montana health department proposal permanently banning the sale of almost all flavored e-cigarette products.

A vape device with flavor liquids.
iStock

The state health department wants to resurrect a ban on flavored e-cigarette sales in Montana. A temporary ban enacted late last year expired several months ago, and now the agency wants to permanently ban the sale of almost all flavored e-cigarette products.

Some Montana vape retailers are vowing to push back hard on the idea, leading to what may be the next legal battleground between those retailers and the administration of Gov. Steve Bullock.

Gov. Steve Bullock talks about Medicaid expansion at a press conference on Jan. 8, 2019.
Shaylee Ragar / UM Legislative News Service

In May, the number of people enrolled in Medicaid expansion in Montana grew by 1,700. It’s the first time in over a year that enrollment numbers in the health coverage program for low income adults increased over the previous month.

Road crew worker installs guard rail on the iconic Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park, MT.
Nicky Ouellet / Yellowstone Public Radio

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday passed a landmark bill to permanently fund public lands management programs and maintenance in national parks.


Renewable energy industry advocates and Montana’s Attorney General are among those pushing back on an East Coast group’s petition that could put an end to the state’ rooftop solar program for net-metering.


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.

Audit: Corrections Should Analyze Treatment Effectiveness

Jun 15, 2020

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The state Department of Corrections should collect and analyze more data to compare the effectiveness of state and private prisons, to more efficiently place and transfer inmates among facilities and to ensure offenders are matched with the appropriate community corrections services to help reduce their likelihood of re-offending, two state audits recommended.

 

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.

Sen. Steve Daines at President Trump's rally at Missoula International Airport. Oct. 18, 2018.
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

President Donald Trump is planning to campaign in Montana in support of Republican U.S. Sen. Steve Daines’ reelection bid, according to his Friday tweets.

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