2021 Montana Legislature and Politics

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USDA to Host Listening Session to help Expand Broadband in Tribal Communities Under the ReConnect Program – 4/20 – 1:30PM MST – Online

USDA is inviting comments and recommendations from tribal communities and tribal broadband industry experts on a ReConnect Program final rule originally published on Feb. 26, 2021.

Passenger rail group sees “opportunity” for Montana rail service from several funds

The President and CEO of the Rail Passengers Association sees several points of opportunity from the new interest in Washington over infrastructure spending.

Communications Workers of America Launches Multi-State Effort to Regulate Broadband, Close Digital Divide

Legislation has already been introduced in California, Colorado and New York, and CWA is in active conversations with policymakers in state houses across the country about its model bill, the Broadband Resiliency, Public Safety and Quality Act.

Part 1 of a three-part series: COVID-19’s impact on Montana region’s small businesses

Rather than vilify small business owners that willingly closed to protect the most vulnerable, Glacier County should take proactive steps to assist families and individuals in regaining financial security.

Can Rescue Funds Give America the Broadband It Really Wants?

Billions of dollars in the American Rescue Plan could be used to close the persistent digital divide in urban and rural communities. But how can these investments be “future-proof”?

NorthWestern Energy has no interest in acquiring more than an incremental portion of critical power from Colstrip to serve its Montana customers

To be clear, NorthWestern Energy would only consider acquiring enough additional critical power from Colstrip to reliably and affordably serve our Montana customers. That need is far less than the output of even one unit of the Colstrip Power Plant.

New York Mandates $15-a-Month Broadband for Low-Income Users

New York’s newly enacted state budget requires nearly all Internet providers to sell broadband service for $15 a month to low-income customers who qualify for food stamps, Medicaid or similar benefits.

How States Can Gird for the Coming Fights Over Taxing Digital Ads

Maryland is leading the way, but its new levy faces plenty of pushback in the courts and Congress. States that want to follow suit should act quickly to craft viable uniform model legislation.

Former Department of Revenue Director and Missoula Mayor Mike Kadas: Rushed tax bill will result in uncertain and regressive outcomes

State legislators are rushing a massive overhaul of our income tax system through the legislature at the last minute. Senate Bill 399 would cost the state millions in revenue and result in one in five Montanans paying more in income taxes.

The FCC wants you to test your internet speeds with its new app

The FCC Speed Test App could help the agency correct its data