Flathead County draws COVID enforcement

After encouraging local governments to more aggressively enforce public health orders including a statewide mask mandate, Gov. Steve Bullock said Thursday that the state is pursuing enforcement measures against businesses in Flathead County that have repeatedly flouted health mandates.

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With Pendley ousted, BLM decisions come under new scrutiny

William Perry Pendley’s 'acting' status as head of the Bureau of Land Management calls into question his rulings on energy leases, national monuments and conservation plans in Montana and across the American West.

Now that a Montana federal judge has ousted ‘acting’ BLM Director William Perry Pendley, a slew of consequential land use decisions across the American West are coming under renewed scrutiny.

Watching the insurers

Republican Troy Downing and Democrat Shane Morigeau bid to succeed Matt Rosendale in the race for the important but often overlooked office of State Auditor.

In addition to serving on the five-member state Land Board, Montana’s state auditor is responsible for regulating insurance and securities in Montana.

The rematch for OPI

Four years after their first electoral contest, Elsie Arntzen and Melissa Romano are once again battling for the state superintendent of public instruction seat.

Montanans have ringside seats to a sequel match-up between two educators — one an incumbent with a widely known political identity, the other a determined challenger resolved to oust a past-and-present rival. Both have crafted positive messages about fighting for students, for teachers and for the sanctity of classrooms across the state. Yet they’re never far from ducking in and leveling a blow.

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The Trump and COVID show

The advertisements have argued endlessly about who’s been a better steward of the state’s public lands, who is more beholden to special interests, who walks in blind lockstep with party leadership and which candidate would help gut or save health care. But what is more likely to sway the election in the closing weeks is Trump’s level of support in Montana and the status of the state’s coronavirus outbreak.

Drugs, health care and budgets

Montana’s next attorney general will be in the driver’s seat for influential legal fights, addressing the state’s ongoing drug and alcohol use issues and helping local officials handle crime. Depending on the November outcome of the race between Republican Austin Knudsen and Democrat Raph Graybill, the philosophy and priorities of Montana’s next attorney general could be dramatically different.

Not just weed

Montanans are effectively voting on two changes to state policy: whether local governments can pass gun laws, and the legalization of adult-use marijuana.

Six candidates vie for three Public Service Commission seats

Voters in districts around Missoula, Billings and Bozeman will have the chance this fall to select new leadership for the Montana Public Service Commission, the regulatory body at the center of the state’s energy politics, and an agency that has been rocked over the past year by a series of scandals.

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Shared State

Differing perspectives on the meaning of ‘freedom’ and ‘liberty’ are competing for primacy as Montana struggles to implement public health measures and COVID-19 cases spike.

Shared State

In 2020, there’s more uncertainty than ever about how to ensure we all have a say in this election. But in some ways, this uncertainty is nothing new. As long as Montana has held elections, there have been groups struggling to have their equal voices heard.

Shared State

Pledging to bring Montana more “good-paying jobs” is a time-honored cliche for politicians on the campaign trail. But what can elected officials really do to expand economic opportunity for Montanans? And what concerns are Montanans weighing as they decide whether they can build the life they want here?

The mask hypocrisy

While the president and vice president forgo masks at rallies, the White House is quietly encouraging governors to implement mask mandates and, for some, enforce them with fines.

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