Montana Public Radio

Trump Administration

Montanas are being asked to report Census data online or by phone even without receiving a specialized ID code to begin the process.
U.S. Census Bureau

The U.S. Supreme Court has stopped the once-a-decade head count of every U.S. resident from continuing through the end of October.

A group of bipartisan state lawmakers released a letter Tuesday urging members of the U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee to pass the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes’ water compact onto the full Senate as soon as possible.

Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument in central Montana
BLM (PD)

A lawsuit filed by Gov. Steve Bullock in federal court Monday alleges that Bureau of Land Management Deputy Director William Perry Pendley is violating federal law by exercising the authority of the bureau’s director while awaiting confirmation from the Senate.

Environmental groups filed the latest in a series of federal lawsuits against the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline, this time challenging a permit to cross federal lands.

In a lawsuit filed July 14 the groups argue that the U.S. Department of Interior failed to follow environmental laws like the Endangered Species Act when it greenlighted a right-of-way across more than 40 miles of federal land in Montana earlier this year.

The U.S. Supreme Court on July 6 upheld a stay on parts of construction for the 1,200-mile Keystone XL crude oil pipeline, which broke ground in northern Montana earlier this year.

Hospitality Industry May Suffer From Foreign Visa Suspension

Jul 6, 2020
Downtown Whitefish, MT.
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

After hosting exchange students from all over the world for the last 15 years, Whitefish resident Sue Moll will have a much quieter house this ski season.

Every year, Moll hosts foreign J-1 visa workers who travel to the U.S. to work at Whitefish Mountain Resort (WMR) as part of a cultural exchange, but the resort won’t be able to hire those employees for the 2020-2021 season.

After the Trump administration suspended some foreign worker visas until at least the end of the year, including the J-1 visa, a number of businesses in the Flathead Valley’s hospitality industry will not be able to utilize foreign workers that they typically hire seasonally.

 

U.S. Senator Jon Tester joined other congressional Democrats this week in rebuking the Trump administration's latest attempt to overturn the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare. 

The Senate resolution signed by Tester and 46 other Democratic and Independent senators is a direct repreminad of the U.S. Department of Justice’s request last week for the Supreme Court to overturn the Affordable Care Act, or ACA.

In a Facebook town hall meeting Tuesday, Tester said efforts to dismantle the ACA during the novel coronavirus pandemic are "irresponsible and cruel."

Montana Bureau Chief of the Census and Economic Information Center Mary Craigle discusses Census data security alongside federal census Partnership Specialist Karen Murphy in Missoula Monday.
Cassidy Alexander / Montana Public Radio

U.S. Census officials speaking in Missoula Monday avoided commenting on whether a citizenship question will be added to the 2020 Census and what it could mean for Montana. It comes at a time when the Trump administration is assembling a legal team determined to ask the country about its citizenship status.

Tonight on Capitol Talk: The state budget sails through the Legislature; Gov. Bullock says he's "skeptical" about the "save Colstrip" bill; a Colstrip senator launches a vitriolic video slamming press coverage of the Colstrip bill; Attorney General Tim Fox opposes ending Obamacare; and three more candidates enter the races for governor and U.S. House. 

Sage grouse.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Pacific Southwest Region (PD)

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Conservation groups are asking a federal judge to block the Trump administration from easing restrictions on energy companies that were meant to protect a struggling Western bird species.

Attorneys for Western Watersheds Project, Prairie Hills Audubon Society and two other groups made the request Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Boise, Idaho.

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