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Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer is known for circumventing the Legislature to get what he wants.
He wanted a state employee health clinic here, and he got it — arguing that he didn't need to go through the Legislature, because the Montana Health Center was an administrative act under the state's health plan.
State Sen. Dave Lewis, R-Helena, wants to stop the governor from using loopholes to avoid lawmakers.
Following his final budget presentation ever, Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer, always the consummate showman, handed reporters $2 calculators, the simple tool he says he used to balance the state's books during his 8-year tenure.
Perhaps he's fibbing a bit about using a single tool to bring the financial books into the black, because his latest budget reveals Schweitzer can peer deeply into the future's stormy bowels.
Too bad the grandstanding governor didn't share his crystal ball, too.
Gov. Brian Schweitzer is asking the federal government to approve a five-year pilot program in Montana in which cheaper prescription drugs would be imported from Canada and sold to state employees.
"By approving a small pilot project to import lower-priced prescription drugs from Canada for Montana's state employee clinics, we can lower the price of prescription drugs for employees of the state of Montana with medicines that are safe and effective," Schweitzer wrote in an Aug. 30 letter to Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of U.S. Health and Human Services.
The Montana Public Service Commission has approved the placement of NorthWestern Corporation d/b/a NorthWestern Energy's Battle Creek natural gas assets into rate base.
The commission approved, on a 4-1 vote, a stipulated agreement between NorthWestern Energy and the Montana Consumer Counsel that established a capital structure consistent with other recent rate cases including a return on equity of 10.00%. The stipulation also establishes a framework for evaluating future acquisitions, such as the recently announced Bear Paw field, that includes a unit cost/market-price crossover point to mitigate risk should market prices turn out different than the forecast prices used to evaluate the acquisition.
Senate Finance Chairman and Montana Democrat Max Baucus faces that horrifying word every incumbent legislator dreads.
A powerful figure in Montana and national politics and a U.S. Senate member since 1978, Baucus could fall in the 2014 election, a number of national publications contend. Most see Baucus as a top Democrat in a state that hasn't supported a left-leaning candidate for president for decades, a situation optimal for a Republican pick-off.
Of course, that's what many said of Democrat Jon Tester, the state's junior U.S. senator, just before he pounded Republican challenger Denny Rehberg in November.
Undaunted, Politico's Dave Catanese discussed the prospect of Republicans grabbing a Senate majority in two years, marking a number of vulnerable Senate Democrats along the way. Catanese tabbed Baucus as one of a handful of senators Republicans might pick off
President Barack Obama has announced his intent to appoint Montana State University President Waded Cruzado to the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development.
The Board for International Food and Agricultural Development, BIFAD, advises USAID on agriculture and higher education issues pertinent to food insecurity in developing countries. The President appoints members, who primarily represent the academic community.
The Big Sky Business Journal
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