This story is excerpted from the MT Lowdown, a weekly newsletter digest containing original reporting and analysis published every Friday.
Average annual increase in state General Fund spending proposed by Gov. Greg Gianforte’s 2023-25 budget. That’s equivalent to about $122 million in new spending annually during the two-year fiscal biennium that runs from July 2023 to June 2025, or roughly $111 per Montana resident. Gianforte’s Budget Director, Ryan Osmundson, argued in a press briefing last week that the increase represents a “very conservative budget” given the economy’s rapid rate of inflation, estimated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics at 14% nationally over the last two years.
A growing movement aimed at “food sovereignty” on Indian reservations is restoring bison to reservations, developing community food gardens with ancestral seeds, understanding and collecting wild fruits and vegetables, and learning how to cook tasty meals with traditional Indigenous ingredients.
Cascade County Clerk takes to elections website to criticize move to strip her of election administration duties
Cascade County officials are debating whether to appoint a non-elected overseer for local elections. In a post on the county’s website, the current election administrator — Clerk and Recorder Sandra Marchant — equated the move to “overthrowing the election” that put her in office.
Montana Republican Congressman Matt Rosendale has kind of, almost-not-quite announced a long-rumored 2024 bid for U.S. Senate, stating in a video posted to social media that he’s “heavily considering running” for the seat currently held by Democrat Jon Tester.