Medicaid Expansion Won Big on Election Day

Three out of four conservative states approved measures, while the election of a Democratic governor in Maine seemingly ends the Republican effort to block last year’s successful referendum.

This State Could Outlaw Ballot Collection Efforts

In Montana, many voters, including Native Americans, rely on volunteers to collect and deliver their absentee ballots. But a referendum next month would end the practice.

In Montana, a Tough Negotiator Proved Employers Don’t Have to Pay So Much for Health Care

With its employee health plan in financial crisis, Montana hired a former insurance insider who pushed back against industry players with vested interests in keeping costs high. She proved, essentially, that bargaining down health care prices works.

How One Montana City Is Weathering Talk of a ‘Trade War’

“If the farmers and ranchers aren’t making money, we feel it immediately in Great Falls.”

The Obesity Cure Is Out of Reach in the Heaviest States

Bariatric surgery works, but hundreds of thousands of eligible patients can’t get it.

In Most States, the Middle Class Is Now Growing — But Slowly.

The share of middle-class households grew more in Montana than in any other state between 2013 and 2016.

Montana Governor's Executive Order Ties Net Neutrality to State Contracts

STATE & LOCAL ROUNDUP: Louisiana governor’s “ugly” budget; explore Florida's unsolved homicide cases; and why Lincoln, Nebraska will see big benefits from New York's future subway cars.

Tax Bill Would Scrap a Billion From Western States

Western states rich in coal, oil and natural gas—among them Wyoming, New Mexico and Montana—already rely heavily on those industries and have had their budgets hit hard in recent years by falling energy prices.

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.