In The News

07.01.20

Great Falls Transit District receives $3M in COVID-19 aid

GREAT FALLS - The Great Falls Transit District received $3 million from the Federal Transit Administration to cover transit operations and preventative repair costs amid the COVID-19 pandemic. U.S. Sen. Steve Daines said the following statement in a release: "This critical funding will help support the transportation infrastructure needs of the Great Falls community and ensure our transit system in the city has the resources needed to respond to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak," Daines said. "I … Continue Reading


07.01.20

Bert Mooney Airport receives $1 million federal grant

Bert Mooney Airport received a much-needed lift on Wednesday. A grant of over $1 million from the CARES Act and Airport Improvement Program was earmarked for the Butte airport, one of five Montana airports cleared to receive a total of over $5.5 million in federal funding as COVID-19 continues to hamper the airline industry. Jim Kambich, Bert Mooney's assistant manager, said that the airport has seen a precipitous drop in revenue since the coronavirus outbreak, with April being particularly da… Continue Reading


06.30.20

Montana senators push for Benevento nomination

Doug Benevento's nomination as EPA's deputy administrator, imperiled by Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst's anger with the agency over ethanol standards, is receiving a quiet boost from Montana's Senate delegation. Both Republican Sen. Steve Daines and Democratic Sen. Jon Tester say they have lobbied their colleagues who sit on the Environment and Public Works Committee to support Benevento's nomination. "Senator Tester supports Benevento's confirmation and is hopeful his fellow senators will support him,"… Continue Reading


06.30.20

Montana reacts to U.S. Supreme Court decision

The U.S. Supreme Court was split as it declared Tuesday private religious schools can receive money from a Montana tax credit program, and people in the state were no less divided on hearing the news. The country's high court said a rule written by the state Department of Revenue to implement a 2015 law was unconstitutional because it prohibited students from using a scholarship funded through a tax credit program for attending religious private schools. The department had argued if the money w… Continue Reading


06.30.20

Montanans praise, blast Supreme Court's Espinoza decision

The U.S. Supreme Court delivered a major victory Tuesday to parents seeking state aid for their children's religious school education in a case that put Montana center stage. The court ruled 5-4 on Espinoza vs. the Montana Department of Revenue, in an opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts, that states offering scholarships to students in private schools cannot exclude religious schools from such programs. The court stopped short of requiring states to fund religious education, ruling on… Continue Reading


06.30.20

U.S. Supreme Court Ruling: Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue

BILLINGS, Mont. -- A divided U.S. Supreme Court rules that religious schools in Montana can be eligible for a state scholarship program funded by tax credits. The court's 5-4 decision ruled in favor of three Montana mothers in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue. The three mothers, the plaintiffs in this case, applied for the state-funded scholarships to keep their children enrolled at Stillwater Christian School in Kalispell. Today's U.S. Supreme Court ruling strikes down the Montana Con… Continue Reading


06.30.20

Daines asking postal service inspector general for 'full investigation' after Billings vet's remains go missing

BILLINGS - U.S. Sen. Steve Daines of Montana is calling on the U.S. Postal Service to review and correct policy after a Billings veteran's remains were lost in the mail. Daines recently sent a letter to the USPS inspector general asking for an in-depth investigation into the matter, which took place during the COVID-19 pandemic. Billings veteran Donald Tyler died from COVID-19 while traveling with his wife Christine Tyler overseas in March. Don was a U.S. Air Force veteran who served in Vietna… Continue Reading


06.29.20

Daines announces over $35 million in PILT funds for Montana small and rural counties

U.S. Senator Steve Daines has announced that the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) will be directing $35,166,221 in Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) funds to Montana's small and rural counties. Ravalli County will receive $2,671,717. "PILT payments provide critical support to Montana's rural counties," Daines said. "I've worked hard to support the PILT program which provides critical resources for essential services like emergency response efforts and transportation in Montana's rural counti… Continue Reading


06.29.20

Montana AG Network: Buffalo Gals

Consistency is important especially when running a business but circumstances brought about by the pandemic have shifted the way people do business across our state. That holds true for the Sullivan family in Dixon. Right alongside the National Bison Range near Dixon sits the Sullivan family ranch. From the beginning, it's been a family business. "When I met Chris, he had always wanted to do bison, and that sounded exciting to me. We started with just 20 young ones and built it into what we h… Continue Reading


06.29.20

Daines proposes legislation to reverse Cottonwood decision

U.S. Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) on June 24 led a Republican bill that would remove the so-called Cottonwood decision, which the senator considers a roadblock to responsible forest management efforts on federal lands. "Even the Obama Administration agreed that the Cottonwood decision was flawed and crippled forest management," Sen. Daines said last week. "This law has tied the hands of our land managers, prevented them from following the best available science in management decisions, and diverted… Continue Reading


06.27.20

Bill to Settle CSKT Water Rights Gains Senate Committee Support

A $1.9 billion measure to help settle a long-disputed water rights deal between the state and federal governments and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes received its first congressional hearing on June 24, with both of Montana's U.S. senators and a senior Interior Department official praising the legislation as the best course of action to avoid costly litigation, modernize outmoded irrigation systems in the Flathead Valley and mitigate historic damage to natural resources. Introduced … Continue Reading


06.27.20

Sen. Daines visits local business to highlight federal relief

Several employees stood among wooden dressers, dining room tables, couches and chairs to greet Sen. Steve Daines as he visited the showroom for Black Timber Furniture in Four Corners on Friday morning. Black Timber Furniture received $65,000 from the federal paycheck protection program, a $349 billion initiative that provides loans to small businesses. The program was part of the $2.2 trillion congressional coronavirus relief package. When Gov. Steve Bullock issued a stay-at-home order in late… Continue Reading


06.26.20

Sen. Daines introduces bill in effort to save Montana's pro baseball teams

GREAT FALLS - On Thursday, Senator Steve Daines introduced a bill in an effort to save Montana's Pioneer Baseball League teams. The bill would amend the Small Business Act to prevent Major League Teams from receiving benefits from the Paycheck Protection Program or any lending programs from the CARES Act. Daines said in a press release that the bill is intended to pressure MLB to keep its minor league affiliations after proposed cuts, including those to the Great Falls Voyagers, Billings Mustan… Continue Reading


06.26.20

Daines' bill would cut Paycheck Protection loans if Minor League teams get contracted

It was just a matter of time before someone in Congress brought out the heavy artillery in the plight of 42 cities who stand to lose their Minor League Baseball teams if Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred has his way. Leave it to someone from Montana to do it. On Thursday, U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R, MT) has introduced legislation which, if passed, would amend the Small Business Act to prohibit MLB teams from receiving loans under the Paycheck Protection Program if any minor leag… Continue Reading


06.26.20

Border Patrol Extends Restrictions At Northern Ports Of Entry

Six ports of entry between Montana and Canada will continue to operate at reduced hours through July 21. Travel between the two countries is still restricted to essential only amid the new coronavirus pandemic.U.S. Customs and Border Protection reached an agreement with Canada on June 16 to extend the ban on non-essential travel for another 30 days. The limited hours of operation continue for ports of entry Raymond, Opheim, Morgan, Turner, Del Bonita, and Piegan in Montana and Porthill in Idaho… Continue Reading


06.26.20

Congress, rail passenger association question Amtrak cutting schedule

Amtrak has announced it will reduce service on its long-distance trains including The Empire Builder that runs along Montana's Hi-Line en route from Chicago to Portland and Seattle. Amtrak plans to reduce long-distance services to three days a week starting Oct. 1. "Due to the long-term impact of COVID-19 on ridership, Amtrak has made the decision to operate with reduced capacity through Fiscal Year 21," Amtrak Government Affairs and Corporate Communications Public Relations Manager Marc Magli… Continue Reading


06.25.20

Guest view: Great American Outdoors Act took bipartisan push

Once again public lands brought a divided government together. We saw this last week as I helped bring my colleagues from both sides of the aisle together to pass the bipartisan "Great American Outdoors Act" out of the U.S. Senate. This is one of the greatest conservation victories in fifty years, and the strong, bipartisan support we saw in the Senate last week shows that even during some of the starkest political divides in our nation, we can come together to do what's right. As a fifth-gene… Continue Reading


06.25.20

Daines introduces bill in effort to preserve minor league baseball in Montana

BILLINGS - U.S. Sen. Steve Daines is making another push to preserve affiliated professional baseball in Montana. Daines, a Montana Republican, introduced the "Support Baseball in Communities Act" on Thursday in Washington, D.C. The bill would deem Major League Baseball teams ineligible to participate or benefit from the Paycheck Protection Program or emergency lending programs within Title IV of the CARES Act if it moves forward with plans to reduce the number of minor league franchises across… Continue Reading


06.24.20

Montana businesses have received more than $2 billion in federal aid

Montana businesses have received more than $1.75 billion in mostly no-payback federal loans from the Paycheck Protection Program, according to figures released this week. The U.S. Small Business Administration reported Monday that 22,583 loans had been issued to Montana businesses. The program is by far the largest source of small business assistance offered by the federal government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. By comparison, the state government received $1.25 billion to cover COVID-… Continue Reading


06.24.20

MT Water Rights Protection Act touted as 'permanent solution' to Flathead water dispute

MISSOULA - We're still short of final action. However, that proposal for a nearly $2 billion plan to settle tribal water rights in the Flathead Basin took a major step forward on Wednesday. Trump Administration officials tell the U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee the proposal could avoid decades of litigation and save taxpayers billions of dollars. It was just over a year ago Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) introduced the Montana Water Rights Protection Act, a sweeping bill that aims to resolve d… Continue Reading

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