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Friday, September 22, 2023

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Consumer health advocates urge governor to sign bill package; NY protests for Jewish democracy heighten as Netanyahu meets UN today; Multiple Utah cities set to use ranked-choice voting in next election.

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The Pentagon wants to help service members denied benefits under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," advocates back a new federal office of gun violence prevention, and a top GOP member assures the Ukrainian president more help is coming.

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An Indigenous project in South Dakota seeks to protect tribal data sovereignty, advocates in North Carolina are pushing back against attacks on public schools, and Arkansas wants the hungriest to have access to more fruits and veggies.

Montana

Native American voters living on rural reservations often use ballot-collection services because of limited access to home mail services and polling places. Montana, home to 12 tribal nations, enacted a law that makes it illegal to pay organizers who collect completed absentee ballots from voters, according to the Brennan Center. (Adobe Stock)

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Indigenous Effort Aims to Get Out the Vote

Today is National Voter Registration Day, and in Montana, Indigenous advocates are working to register people and get out the vote. As part of its …

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The U.S. Department of the Interior currently manages 11,000 bison in herds across 4.6 million acres of public lands in a dozen states. (Adobe Stock)
Washington Invests $5 Million in Tribal Land Bison Restoration

The U.S. Interior Department has invested $5 million in reintroducing bison to Native American Tribal lands across the country. Montana's iconic …

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The growing
EPA Upholds MT Farmers' 'Right to Repair'

The Environmental Protection Agency has upheld Montana farmers' right to repair their own equipment, and says doing so does not violate the Clean Air …

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The United States has fewer than 49,000 Black farmers, accounting for 1.4% of the country's 3.4 million producers, according to the latest Census of Agriculture. (Adobe Stock)
Advocates Seek Better Land Access for Marginalized Farmers

With the new Farm Bill debate scheduled for later this month, advocates are calling on lawmakers to write new policy into the measure to ensure more …

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Some 43.5 million Americans have some form of federal or private student loan debt, which is 13% of the population, according to the Federal Reserve's Consumer Credit report. (Adobe Stock)
MT Sees Sluggish Signup for SAVE Program to Reduce Student Debt

The U.S. Department of Education said more than 4 million Americans have enrolled in the Biden administration's college loan repayment program…

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Manure from CAFOs contains more than 150 pathogens that have the potential to contaminate water supplies, while fumes and particulate matter elevate rates of asthma, lung disease and bronchitis<br />among farm workers and people living nearby, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. (Adobe Stock)
Advocates Call for Tougher CAFO Rules in MT

Rural advocates are calling on the state to tighten the rules governing Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations - or CAFOs - in rural Montana…

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More than 136 million people in the United States are TikTok users, and more than half are women. (Adobe Stock)
Montana ACLU Files Legal Support Opposing TikTok Ban

The ACLU of Montana is supporting a lawsuit to overturn a ban on the social media platform TikTok. Montana lawmakers passed a bill fining app …

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The Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act is projected to help grow Montana's $7.1 billion outdoor recreation economy, protect tens of thousands of acres of wilderness, and establish two recreation areas. (Adobe Stock)
Backers: Blackfoot Act Would Add $2.6B to Montana's Recreation Economy

Lawmakers in Washington held their first Senate hearing on the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act. Authored by Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., it would …

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Sales of legalized marijuana in Montana generated an estimated $2.96 million in tax revenue in 2022. (Adobe Stock)
MT Conservation Advocates Rally Support for Veto Lawsuit

In its just-released 2023 legislative scorecard, the group Montana Conservation Voters is critical of Gov. Greg Gianforte's veto of a popular …

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Missoula-based Mountain Line has grown to provide an average of 1.5 million rides per year, up 70% from 2014. The transportation company is making major enhancements to its service with federal infrastructure investments. (Mountain Line)
A Year In, IRA Investments Bolster MT Homes, Businesses

It has been a year since President Joe Biden signed the $770 billion Inflation Reduction Act. In Montana, it has meant new jobs in agriculture…

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The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks estimates the state's elk population at 175,000 animals, but is aiming for a population closer to 92,000.  (Adobe Stock)
Wildlife Advocates React to MT Elk Management Plan

After months of public input and work by wildlife officials, Montana is set to release a new Elk Management Plan this fall. Montana's last Elk …

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The U.S. Forest Service system in Montana contains about 32,000 miles of roads, according to a report from the Montana Legislature. (Adobe Stock)
Court Orders Forest Service to Reconsider Closed Logging Roads

A federal judge has ordered the U.S. Forest Service to look again at the effectiveness of road closures in Montana's Helena-Lewis and Clark National …

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