Chief political reporter for MT Television Network, based in Helena, covering politics, campaigns, health care, energy ... and plenty more.

Big losses, rate restrictions led to New West demise - | Helena, Montana — New West Health Services, one of the only remaining Montana-based health insurers, is closing its doors because it has suffered "significant losses" and didn't see those prospects changing in the future, a board member said Monday.

Will Congress do anything to combat rising health-care costs? - | Helena, Montana — In the wake of big spikes for health coverage and some prescription drugs, MTN asked Montana's congressional delegation how or if federal lawmakers plan to tackle the issue. The delegation's two Republican members - Rep. Ryan Zinke and Sen. Steve Daines - said the starting point should repealing the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare."

Conservative group targeting GOP legislators who won’t sign anti-Medicaid-expansion pledge — A conservative group is targeting Republican state legislators who won't sign a pledge to oppose Medicaid expansion in Montana, holding events this week in the lawmakers' districts to publicize the no-pledge stance.

Gianforte dumps another $500K into his gov campaign; DGA another - | Great Falls, Montana — Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte dumped another $550,000 of personal funds into his campaign in July, raising his total to more than $1 million. And, in a related development, the Democratic Governors Association transferred $750,000 to its Montana-affiliated group last month, amping up the money in Montana's already expensive governor's race.

MEA - MFT — Jan. 5, 2011 Worried yet? Read below . . . and know that the Republican majority seems poised to cut the governor's proposed budget by maybe as much as $500 million! $78 million in elementary and secondary education! $38 million in higher education! As for the state employee pay plan .

MEA - MFT — April 13 - The legislative majority continues to play shell games with the budget. Here's where things stand today: The state's budget, HB 2, failed to be passed on the House floor last week by a vote of 0-100 with some opposing the bill because it didn't fund the essential services, education, and health care that our communities need.

Montana firearms expert: Remington settlement should fix Model 6 - | Helena, Montana — If you own a Remington Model 700 bolt-action rifle, the company may soon offer to pay for replacing its trigger mechanism, as part of a court settlement on a lawsuit alleging the mechanism is defective. But if you own a Remington Model 600 rifle - which likely has the same trigger mechanism - no such offer is being proposed.

Medical-marijuana initiative appears headed for November ballot - | Helena, Montana — Supporters of medical marijuana in Montana said Thursday they have enough signatures to place an initiative on the November ballot that would undo new restrictions taking effect this year. Initiative 182 would remove a new limit that says medical-marijuana providers can have only three patients.

New plan proposed to notify Remington rifle owners of trigger re - | Helena, Montana — A new plan, complete with targeted digital and radio advertising, has been proposed to notify millions of Remington rifle owners about how to fix their weapon's trigger mechanism. The plan filed in federal court late last week in Kansas City, Missouri, is part of an ongoing lawsuit claiming trigger mechanisms are defective in several Remington rifle models, sometimes causing the rifle to fire without the trigger being pulled.

In Tuesday’s primary, GOP moderates hold and increase power at 2 - | Helena, Montana — In the battle between Republican conservatives and moderates in legislative primaries Tuesday, moderates made very slight gains - although each side mostly held onto what they already have.
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