MTPR

Ryan Lynch

Montana remains among only a few states in the country without publicly funded pre-K.
iStock


A Montana legislative committee rejected efforts to include funding for preschool in the state budget over the next two years. That, and another vote, effectively ended the state's preschool pilot program that lawmakers passed in 2017.

Senate Majority Leader Fred Thomas (R) - Stevensville
Mike Albans / Montana Public Radio

In first weeks of the legislative session Gov. Steve Bullock and the Republican Majority are trading barbs over how the state should pay for big public projects, including university system improvements and maintenance in towns and counties.

On Wednesday GOP leaders revealed plans for a new system for how Montana borrows money for public works projects.

In an effort to control prices on air ambulance rides in Montana, lawmakers are considering urging Congress to revise the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978.
Christopher Ebdon (CC-BY-NC-SA)

On Wednesday, the first in a package of bills trying to address the high cost of air ambulances landed before lawmakers for a vote.

A line of people waiting to testify in support of removing balance billing for air ambulance rides in Montana.
Corin Cates-Carney

Montana lawmakers are trying to find a balance between the lifesaving air ambulance services, and the crippling debt those rides can bury patients in.

Montana Capitol in Helena.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

Montana Legislators are sending a letter to their U.S. congressional delegation urging for changes in federal aviation laws. Montana’s Economic Affairs Interim Committee voted today to send a letter asking Senators Tester and Daines and Congressman Zinke to revise the federal Airline Deregulation Act in order to protect patients from crippling air ambulance bills.

Michael Wright - Community News Service

The Montana House set aside its usual schedule Wednesday for a marathon floor session devoted to the state budget.

Democrats brought up 40 amendments to increase funding for a wide range of state departments, restoring money that the House Appropriations Committee cut from the governor’s budget proposal. The Republican majority rejected most of them on party-line votes.

One amendment that came close to passing was Butte Democrat Ryan Lynch’s proposal to restore $700,000 cut from the Governor’s office, including $330,000 for the executive airplane.

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox wants his department to be notified any time online hackers steal personal information about Montana residents. 

Fox’s bill, being sponsored by Butte Democrat Ryan Lynch, was heard in the House Judiciary Committee Monday morning. 

Deputy Attorney General Jon Bennion says the Consumer Protection office needs to be kept in the loop when Montanans are the victims of data theft.