Wildfires Put State Budgets Under Pressure

The federal government spent more than $2 billion on fires from Florida to Washington this year. States spend untold millions more.

This Wildfire Season Underscores the Importance of Federal Forest Payments

A Montana county board chairman says it's time for Congress to institute “mandatory, long-term funding” for counties with federal lands within their borders.

Governors Back Bipartisan Senate Plan to Stabilize Health Markets

Three Republicans and two Democrats teamed up to urge the Senate to act quickly.

A Bird’s-Eye View of a Bad Wildfire Season in the West

So far this year, fires have burned 5.2 million acres of land. And it’s only going to get worse.

‘I Would Hope They Throw It Out and Start Over’

The Democratic governors of Louisiana and Montana express their distaste for the Senate bill to overhaul Obamacare.

Montana’s Governor Credits the Role Medicaid Expansion Played in His Re-election

A willingness to defend controversial issues in Republican towns earned Democrat Steve Bullock the support he needed, at a time when Trump was surging.

How Does a Town of 312 People Afford a $3.6 Million Water System Upgrade?

U.S. Department of Agriculture loans and grants have helped fund water infrastructure in rural localities like Hysham, Montana. The Trump administration’s proposed budget would nix funding for the program that provided this assistance.

The High Price of a Montana Liquor License; S.C. Gov. Hits Trump up for $5 Billion for Infrastructure

Also in our State and Local Daily Digest: Utah’s public lands agenda upsets outdoorsmen; Baltimore City Council reverses course on minimum wage; a two-year review of Ohio’s transparency efforts

When Your Judge Isn't A Lawyer

In some states, justices of the peace don’t need a law degree to put defendants behind bars.

‘Montanans Have Lost Decades of Public Information’; New Year Brings Higher Minimum Wage

Also in our State and Local Daily Digest: Some drought relief in California; Harrisburg’s ex-mayor wants his curios and collectibles back; and Toledo vs. suburbs water struggle.

Route Fifty Roadmap: A Dispatch From a Remote U.S.-Canada Border Post

More than 15 years after 9/11 brought changes to border security at the first International Peace Park, this part of Montana and beyond is dealing with another challenge: seasonal labor shortages.

Route Fifty Roadmap: Montana Touts Home-Grown Effort to Deal With Hops Shortage

Craft brewing is big business in Big Sky Country. Will hops production take root and flourish, too?

The Economic Value of ‘Quiet Recreation’ on BLM Lands

Non-motorized activities like backpacking, research of 11 western states in 2014 shows, generated around $1.8 billion in spending in communities within 50 miles of "quiet recreation" sites.

State Governments Hit Post-Recession Revenue Milestone

For the first time since the Great Recession, tax receipts have recovered in a majority of states.

Why Many States Are Panicked by the Federal Clean Power Plan

Dependence on severance taxes is causing coal-producing states to fret over how to make up for lost revenue if new federal emission regulations put power plants out of business.

School Reform Movement Hits Bump in Calif.; Planned Parenthood Wins and Loses in 2 States

Also: More voting facilities on reservations in Montana and a Florida job creation program is under scrutiny.

Many States Still Grapple With Regulating Medical Marijuana

As voters push for legal access to marijuana for medical and recreational use, state lawmakers are being warned to act fast in regulating the burgeoning industry.