Fred Thomas

Medicaid Expansion
6:47 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Legislative Fiscal Division refutes Gov.’s cost estimate for Medicaid Expansion

The summary included with the fiscal note on Medicaid expansion submitted by the Governor's Office of Budget and Program Planning.
Credit OBPP

Governor Steve Bullock announced his support Wednesday for a voter initiative to expand Medicaid, called the Healthy Montana Initiative.

Medicaid expansion is an optional piece of the Federal Affordable Care Act, and Republican majorities in the Montana Legislature decided not to approve it in 2013.

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Republican Rift
5:43 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Republican divide widening ahead of MT primary election

Credit Jacob Baynham, Community News Service, UM School of Journalism

 As Montana moves toward the June primary elections, a deep divide still exists between elements of the state legislature’s Republican caucus.

This split between moderate and conservative Republicans was most dramatically seen in the 2013 Montana Senate, where the GOP held a 29-21 majority over Democrats. The body almost seemed to have three caucuses, though, as a small group of Republicans regularly defied party leadership to side with Democrats on a number of key issues such as campaign spending law changes, school funding legislation, and state employee pension reform.

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Megaloads
5:44 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Lawmakers ask if Missoula can charge fees to megaload shipments

State lawmakers are asking what rights local governments have to charge fees to megaload shipments moving through Montana cities and towns.

These vehicles carry enormous pieces of equipment, blocking traffic as they haul their freight often to the tar sands of Canada or the Bakken oil patch.

The legislature’s Revenue and Transportation Interim committee inquired into the fees Tuesday.

Capitol Reporter Dan Boyce says the city of Missoula began charging them a few years ago. 

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Medicaid Expansion
1:53 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Just how much would Medicaid expansion cost the state anyway?

Items in parenthesis indicate a negative fiscal impact.
Credit Governor's Office of Budget and Program Planning

Analysis of a new ballot measure seeking to expand Medicaid shows expansion would not cost Montana as much as previously forecast, but the state budget would still take a long-term hit from the so-called “Healthy Montana Initiative.”

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Affordable Care Act
11:31 am
Fri January 24, 2014

40-thousand Montanans fall into Obamacare 'coverage gap'

Arlee resident Donna Mollica earns too much to qualify for Medicaid as it stands, but not enough to meet the criteria for Affordable Care Act health insurance subsidies

A ballot initiative which would expand Medicaid in Montana has run into a hang-up after the Attorney General’s office noted a legal issue with the proposal.

Supporters of the so-called “Healthy Montana Initiative” have filed a corrected version to the Montana Secretary of State’s Office.

This will shorten the amount of time the initiative has to gather signatures to be placed on the 2014 ballot.

Republican lawmakers during the 2013 legislature blocked passage of Medicaid Expansion, an optional piece of the federal Affordable Care Act.

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2014 Election
11:06 am
Thu January 9, 2014

The 2014 election officially begins

Rep. Austin Knudsen (R-Culbertson) speaks during a Thursday news conference held by GOP legislative candidates.
Dan Boyce

UPDATE 5:30 PM

The Secretary of State's Office has reported a total of 139 Montana candidates filed to run during the first day they could officially do so.

Republican legislative candidates at a news event Thursday afternoon said Montana voters are tired of what they call failed liberal policies both in the state and in Washington D.C.

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