Montana Public Radio

Steve Bullock

Campaign Beat: Can Montana Dems Win On Health Care?

Jul 10, 2020

Montana's U.S. Senate race is now rated a toss-up. New ads highlight health care as a top issue in that race and in the race for governor. President Trump's waning approval could also impact Montana's down ballot candidates. And a former Republican candidate for governor disavows his party and its top candidates running for high office.

Listen now on Campaign Beat, with Sally Mauk, Rob Saldin and Holly Michels.

Could a Japanese-style elder care insurance program work in Montana?

Jul 10, 2020

Last week in Graying Pains, the Missoulian’s David Erickson examined the introduction and implementation of Kaigo Hoken, or care insurance, in Japan, the world’s demographically oldest country. This week’s conclusion of that story explores how a similar policy might translate to Montana, the oldest state in the American West.

A full 13% of Montanans are in their 60s, and the “baby boomer” generation is nearing or entering retirement age. Care for the elderly will become an increasingly pressing issue in Montana as larger and larger numbers of voters enter the older brackets of the state’s demographics.

Grizzly bear.
(PD)

The roughly 700 grizzly bears in and around Yellowstone National Park will remain federally protected under the Endangered Species Act, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Wednesday. 

 

Montana health officials announced 80 new cases of the COVID-19 illness July 7, including over 50 cases in Yellowstone County, the majority of which are connected to an assisted living facility in Billings. The new cases break the state’s record for single day total cases reported.

Yellowstone County reported it’s highest single-day tally of lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases July 7 with a total of 55.


It’s the start of the month, which means housing payments are due for many Montanans. Amid the economic fallout of the novel coronavirus pandemic, there doesn’t yet appear to be large spikes in evictions and foreclosures. But state officials are still having trouble distributing federal housing relief dollars to the people who need them.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock speaking at the Des Moines Register Political Soapbox at the Iowa State Fair, August 16, 2018.
Clay Masters / Iowa Public Radio

Gov. Steve Bullock's campaign said Monday that it raised $7.7 million in the second quarter of 2020. The Democrat's bid against Republican incumbent Sen. Steve Daines has emerged as a critical race in the fight for control of the U.S. Senate.

Montana officials announced 67 new COVID-19 cases Thursday, breaking the state’s record for the most new cases in a single day. Health officials worry large gatherings for the Fourth of July could accelerate the spread of the novel coronavirus.

While Montana maintains one of the lowest rates of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths in the U.S., Governor Steve Bullock said on a press call Thursday that he's concerned. Montana crossed the 1,000 total case mark this week.

Lockers in an empty school hallway.
PD

Two separate reopening guides for Montana schools were released on Thursday, one from the governor’s office and the other from the state’s office of public instruction. Neither document is an order, but were presented as ideas for schools to consider when reopening.

Montana’s K-12 schools shut down in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, and it’s still unclear exactly how they plan to reopen for students this fall.

U.S. Supreme Court
PD

The Montana Supreme Court discriminated against religious schools when it invalidated a tax credit program that supported school choice, according to a ruling handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday.

This story is part of a series that looks at potentially lasting ways Montana adapted during the pandemic. It’s funded in part by the Solutions Journalism Network. 

After the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began advising against face to face interactions, Montana healthcare providers sought to expand non emergency telehealth appointments. It's a trend that could keep going.

Pages