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State health officials recently finalized new rules and regulations for private youth therapeutic programs in the state. The programs were mostly self-regulated until this year when state lawmakers gave the Montana health department oversight.

The State-Tribal Relations Committee is pressing Montana’s Congressional delegation to do more to increase public input and tribal consultation on the Keystone XL pipeline. The move comes as the end of the public comment period for a recently updated environmental statement nears.


State utility regulators are nearing the end of a massive review of what Northwestern Energy charges its customers and what the company makes in profit. Several regulators this week are arguing over how the public was notified that they’ll likely see an increase in their electric bills.

Montana Rep. Greg Gianforte and U.S. Agriculture Undersecretary Jim Hubbard hold a forest management roundtable at  the U.S. Forest Service’s Aerial Fire Depot and Smokejumper Center in Missoula, Nov. 7, 2019.
Edward O'Brien / Montana Public Radio

Montana U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte and U.S. Agriculture Department Undersecretary Jim Hubbard spearheaded a roundtable this week in Missoula focused on forest and wildland fire policy.

Gianforte called for greater collaboration among stakeholders. Some stakeholders, however, were noticeably absent from the event.

The House chamber at the Montana Legislature.
Nick Mott / Montana Public Radio

Montana lawmakers are meeting for a week in January to study whether the State Legislature should meet every year.

Montana’s House and Senate currently meet for 90 days every other year. In 2019, the Legislature passed a bill to study meeting every year for 45 days.

NorthWestern Energy building in Butte, Montana.
Nora Saks / Montana Public Radio

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Montana Public Service Commission has approved a $6.5 million rate increase for NorthWestern Energy customers, less than 20 percent of the increase the utility initially sought.

Officials say it could take more than a year to add new "community engagement" requirements to the state’s Medicaid expansion.
iStock

Officials say it could take more than a year to add new "community engagement" requirements to the state’s Medicaid expansion.

Montana is awaiting federal approval for its plan to require some low-income adults to work for health coverage.

Voters in Clinton, Montana, cast ballots during the 2016 elections.
Rebekah Welch / UM School of Journalism

Starting in 2020, Lewis and Clark County will no longer have partisan elections for leadership offices, an idea that voters from a different southwest Montana county are opposed to.

 

In an earlier report we mistakenly identified the age of a recently elected Fort Peck tribal executive board member.  Alexander Smith is actually younger than 24, making his recent election to the tribal executive board a record-breaking win.

Montana Secretary of State Office
William Marcus

A fourth Republican is entering Montana’s primary race for Secretary of State.

Bowen Greenwood, current clerk of the Montana Supreme Court, announced Tuesday he’s joining the 2020 race for the job of top election official.

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