Tom Burnett

Montanans first supported the 6-mill tax for higher education back in 1948.

Every decade since then, voters have reauthorized the levy which raises about $20 million annually from a property tax dedicated to the state university system. On average, that tab amounts to $12 on every $100,000 in property value. The 6-mill levy goes before voters for the eighth time next month.

University of Montana alumnus, Sam Forstag, describes the 6-mill levy as a proud Montana tradition.

“It affects the music we make, the books we write, the culture that we produce.”

The House Appropriations committee unanimously approved a bill to pay for some capital improvement projects for numerous state facilities.  The committee’s action came after several lawmakers criticized building projects at the University of Montana.

House Bill 5 includes a myriad of projects, including for several life/safety repairs and maintenance at state facilities. The committee approved an amendment to give the Montana University System the authority to spend money raised privately by some of the campuses.

Job Service officies statewide, like this one in Kalispell, are offering special help to new Medicaid recipients
Eric Whitney

Medicaid expansion barely passed Montana's Legislature last year. One of the reasons it was able to get enough Republican votes is because it included a component to encourage Medicaid recipients to get jobs, or better-paying jobs, so they could get off of Medicaid and buy their own health insurance.

Tuesday afternoon, a legislative oversight committee is taking a look at how that work component is going.

Medicaid expansion is coming to Montana but some lawmakers are still debating it.

At a hearing of the oversight committee that's keeping tabs on the state’s effort to ramp-up its new health coverage, Bozeman Republican Tom Burnett — a House member who voted against the plan — stood up to say that state officials weren’t living up to the legislature’s goals.