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Bullock’s surprise: He’s already making budget cuts

House

HELENA—Shortly after the Montana House convened in special session on Tuesday, Gov. Steve Bullock, in a surprise announcement, said he was immediately implementing $76.6 million in general-fund budget cuts. Bullock originally hadn’t planned to make the budget cuts until after the special session adjourned. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Longtime family business, Chalet Market, changes hands

Johnson

The Chalet Market on 24th Street West, a deli and gift shop known for its large selection of made-in-Montana products and holiday gift baskets, has changed hands after 36 years. Dean and Callie Cromwell are retiring from the business that Dean’s family started in 1981, having sold it to another couple, Ryan and Julie Johnson. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Bullock’s work-comp fee pitch hits strong opposition

Buttrey

HELENA — Business groups and others denounced one of Gov. Steve Bullock’s key revenue-raising proposals as risky and discriminatory at a hearing at the special legislative session on Monday. Bullock’s plan would temporarily require the workers’ compensation State Fund to pay a 3 percent management fee on its assets exceeding $1 billion that are invested by the State Board of Investments. The bill, if enacted, is projected to raise $30 million over the two-year period before the fee goes off the books in June 2019. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Last special session in Montana was 10 years ago

Holmlund

HELENA—This will be the 33rd special legislative session in Montana history and the first called by Gov. Steve Bullock, who took office in 2013. The most recent special session was a one-day session in September 2007, called by Gov. Brian Schweitzer to replenish the state’s wildfire firefighting fund. Among the tasks of the session next week is to restore money to the firefighting fund. (See related story.) (more…) Continue Reading →

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Energy-market expert to address NPRC annual meeting

Colbdert

In a few short years, Tyson Slocum says, advances in the efficiency of power-storage batteries will have reached the point of making renewable energy “grid-comparable.” That means the cost of installing and maintaining a small-scale energy generation and storage systems will be on par with the costs of buying energy from a utility company. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Cole wins decisive victory in Billings mayoral race

Coles

Bill Cole won a decisive victory in his campaign to be Billings’ next mayor on Tuesday, winning 17,588 votes to Jeff Essmann’s 9,905. In final, unofficial results Tuesday night, Mike Yakawich and Shaun Brown held onto their City Council seats in Wards 1 and 5, respectively, while Frank Ewalt won in Ward 2, Denise Joy in Ward 3 and Penny Ronning in Ward 4, all by wide margins. (more…) Continue Reading →

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