In The News

01.13.21

$250,000 grant to continue addressing grizzly-human conflicts

MONTANA - U.S. Senator Steve Daines announced the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service renewed a $250,000 grant to help reduce grizzly bear and human conflicts in Montana. "This funding is critical to help reduce grizzly-human conflicts in Montana as we continue working to delist the grizzly bear and return management to the state," Daines said. The USFWS grant to the Montana Wildlife Services will include: Additional support through the Wildlife Services contract to address bear and human conflict.… Continue Reading


01.13.21

UM starts on-campus COVID-19 vaccinations

Dr. Kenneth Chatriad took a break from his work to wipe down the 12 smooth, light blue plastic chairs spaced out in a Curry Health Center hallway. Chatriad, the center's pharmacy manager, walked through his newly constructed immunization center. Though it was hard to tell under his mask and face shield, he was probably smiling. "It is an exciting day today, finally," Chatriad said as he brought his attention back to new faces coming down the corridor. They were frontline healthcare workers, inc… Continue Reading


01.13.21

Fish and Wildlife Service proposes ESA rule changes meant to speed timber projects

Federal officials on Monday proposed revisions to consultation rules under the Endangered Species Act that could streamline the process for approving timber projects on critical habitat. If enacted, the revisions would allow the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service to circumvent consultation with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials over land management plans when new species are listed as threatened. Land management plans are broad documents that guide agency decisions on pub… Continue Reading


01.13.21

Montana to receive $71M+ for COVID testing, vaccine distribution

U.S. SENATE - U.S. Senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines announced that Montana will receive more than $71 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to combat COVID-19 through large-scale testing and vaccination efforts. The year-end bipartisan COVID-19 relief and stimulus package allocates $61,517,133 for COVID-19 testing and provides $9,657,321 for vaccine distribution. Tester said, "With the news this week that Montana has passed the grim milestone of more than 1,000 COVI… Continue Reading


01.09.21

Lost Trail easement near Marion finalized

Another large swath of timberland in Northwest Montana will remain open to the public in perpetuity after groups finalized the purchase of the Lost Trail Conservation Easement. The 7,256-acre parcel near Marion will complement an existing network of public lands stretching across Flathead, Lake, Lincoln and Sanders counties. Situated within the recently proposed 100,000-acre U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Lost Trail Conservation Area, the prized single block of land also shares nearly 7 miles… Continue Reading


01.08.21

Health Officials Urge Patience about Covid-19 Vaccinations

Ravalli County and Missoula County Public Health Departments have been overwhelmed with phone calls about COVID-19 vaccination schedules. And both departments are asking the public to quit calling. Instead, Ravalli County Public Health Director Tiffany Webber said that in Ravalli County, the staff has started an online appointment and waiting list for those who are requesting appointments. The Ravalli County vaccinations have started for the healthcare workers and first responders, but there is… Continue Reading


01.08.21

CARES Act funding depleted; state and local governments awaiting guidance on new federal COVID funds

HELENA - The COVID-19 pandemic response has been a costly endeavor at all levels of government. Lewis and Clark Public Health (LCPH) alone has already spent more than $1 million responding to the public health crisis. To put that into perspective, LCPH spent a total of $781,689 during their entire 2019 fiscal year. "That's primarily because we've had to hire so many extra people to help do this work," Lewis and Clark County Health Officer Drenda Niemann. "We've had to hire 70 contact tracers f… Continue Reading


01.07.21

Montana music venues, theaters see 'glimmer of light' in relief bill

The COVID relief bill passed by Congress in late December includes $15 billion that could aid eligible independent music venues and movie theaters in Montana that have been shuttered since March. The passage was like "finally getting a sigh of relief," said Sean Lynch, the owner of the Pub Station concert venue in Billings. He helped the push for the Save Our Stages Act through the National Independent Venue Association, a group formed at the beginning of the pandemic. Its members estimated th… Continue Reading


01.05.21

Sen. Daines announces grant for grizzly bear management

U.S. Senator Steve Daines announced Tuesday the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) renewed a $250,000 grant to help reduce grizzly bear and human conflicts in Montana. "This funding is critical to help reduce grizzly-human conflicts in Montana as we continue working to delist the grizzly bear and return management to the state," Daines said. The USFWS grant to the Montana Wildlife Services will include: • Additional support through the Wildlife Services contract to address bear and h… Continue Reading


01.04.21

Daines measure ending tribal water dispute becomes law

A bipartisan bill offered by U.S. Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) that permanently settles a century-long tribal water dispute in his home state recently became law as part of the roughly $1.4 trillion omnibus appropriations package signed by the president. "I'm very glad I could play a direct role in getting this done, and I thank President Trump for signing our bill into law," said Sen. Daines on Dec. 27. The Montana Water Rights Protection Act, S. 3019, which Sen. Daines sponsored in December 2019… Continue Reading


01.04.21

Congress Repeals Anti-Trust Exemptions Over AHIP Objections

Both houses of Congress have voted to repeal an anti-trust exemption in the McCarran-Ferguson Act of 1945 which protects payers from federal competition laws. The Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act of 2020 amended the McCarran-Ferguson Act to include the following statement: "Nothing contained in this Act shall modify, impair, or supersede the operation of any of the antitrust laws with respect to the business of health insurance (including the business of dental insurance and limited-sco… Continue Reading


01.04.21

Tonix Plans Vaccine Development Plant In Hamilton

A New Jersey biopharmaceutical company, Tonix Pharmaceuticals Holding Corp., has purchased 44 acres on the northeast edge of Hamilton and plans to build a vaccine development and commercial manufacturing facility. According to a news release on its website, the company will use the Montana plant and a new facility in Massachusetts to help develop and produce vaccines. The Tonix statement said their vaccine candidates are "led by modified horsepox vaccines, TNX-1800, a potential COVID-19 vaccine… Continue Reading


12.31.20

Historic Water Rights act becomes law

PABLO - Time crawls by until it's passed - then it has flown by. Such is the case of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes Federal Reserved Water Rights Compact (FRWRC), officially known as the Montana Water Rights Protection Act (MWRPA). After decades of discussions and official negotiations with the Montana Reserved Water Rights Compact Commission (MRWRCC), the CSKT's FRWRC was signed into law by the president of the United States Monday. All that was needed to ratify the MWRPA was the… Continue Reading


12.30.20

Daines bill provides relief for breweries, distilleries

The Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act was just signed into law, providing permanent tax relief and supporting jobs across Montana to small, locally-owned breweries and distilleries. The bill was created by Montana Sen. Steve Daines. "In Montana, we're home to some of the best craft breweries in the country," Daines said in a press release. "Now, with my bipartisan bill being signed into law, these small businesses will have permanent tax relief which will create jobs across Montana… Continue Reading


12.29.20

Montana breweries, distilleries get tax relief from spending package

(KPAX) HELENA - Now that President Donald Trump has signed a $2.3 trillion COVID-19 relief and government funding package, Montana breweries and distilleries will receive some much-needed tax relief. The Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act was incorporated into the year-end legislative package. It makes a reduced tax rate on small brewers and distillers permanent, after it was initially approved for two years, then extended for one more. U.S. Sens. Jon Tester and Steve Daines both … Continue Reading


12.29.20

Save Our Stages relief bill finally gives entertainment venues crucial help

BILLINGS - The last time we checked in with the Pub Station was back in May. They had already been shut down for two months because of the pandemic, and figured that financial help was on the way any time. It's been seven months since then, and they still don't have any money in their accounts - but they will soon. "What we accomplished nationally - what I read at least in the New York Times - I believe it was the biggest public investment in art in history," said Pub Station co-owner Sean Lyn… Continue Reading


12.29.20

Guest view: Montana dentists applaud Daines, health-insurance bill

During the 2020 election, U.S. Senator Daines was hammered by detractors as beholden to insurance companies. Nothing could be further from the truth, as evidenced by a landmark insurance reform bill that passed last week, with Senator Daines as its foremost champion. While all eyes were watching the pandemic stimulus bill vote in the U.S. Senate on Monday, there was another significant bill that passed with little fanfare. The Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act (CHIRA) will remove antitrus… Continue Reading


12.28.20

Montana breweries and distilleries get tax relief from Congressional spending package

HELENA - Now that President Donald Trump has signed a $2.3 trillion COVID-19 relief and government funding package, Montana breweries and distilleries will receive some much-needed tax relief. The Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act was incorporated into the year-end legislative package. It makes a reduced tax rate on small brewers and distillers permanent, after it was initially approved for two years, then extended for one more. U.S. Sens. Jon Tester and Steve Daines both co-spon… Continue Reading


12.28.20

NSSF Profile Q & A: Republican Montana State Senator Steve Daines

Who introduced you to hunting/shooting sports and at what age? As a fifth-generation Montanan, hunting has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I started off shooting gophers in Montana when I was eight years old, with a Winchester .22. Describe your most recent hunting/shooting sports activity? With whom? Killed a nice buck antelope in October with my 6.5 PRC with 143g Hornady ELDX. Then helped my wife kill a very nice muley with the same gun, a month later. Describe your f… Continue Reading


12.28.20

Trump signs coronavirus relief bill

President Donald Trump signed the bill that provides $900 billion in relief funds late Sunday night, saying that he will send a redlined version back to Congress with a formal rescission request to remove wasteful spending from the bill. "I want far less wasteful spending and more money going to the American people in the form of $2,000 checks per adult and $600 per child," Trump said, adding, "I am signing this bill to restore unemployment benefits, stop evictions, provide rental assistanc… Continue Reading

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