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The Montana Farm Bureau Federation and the Cato Institute have jointly filed an amicus curiae brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to grant a writ of certiorari to review the Montana Supreme Court’s decision in PPL Montana, LLC v. State of Montana. In PPL Montana, the Montana Supreme Court held that the entirety of the Madison, Clark Fork, and Missouri rivers were “navigable” at the time of Montana’s statehood, despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary. This decision unsettled decades of settled law and upended long-established property rights belonging to thousands of Montana farmers and ranchers.
Montana’s top retiree gets $116,587 in annual benefits with 29 others receiving more than $70,000, according to a report prepared for a legislative committee reviewing pension costs for two state-sponsored retirement systems.
The numbers are more than twice the average salary of the typical Montana worker, according to statistics.
The Aug. 3 report was in response to questions from lawmakers about “salary spiking,” defined as a large increase in an employee’s salary shortly before retiring, which increases an employee’s pension benefit.
UPDATE: Sept. 17, 2010
Bus loads of Montana citizens arrived in Malta on Thursday to listen to Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Director Bob Abbey disavow any intent to place large tracts of BLM land in Montana in national monument status. His words seemed to ring hollow, as many people rose to say that they didn’t necessarily believe him.
Abbey said that he was the author of the “leaked” document which was prepared for President Obama’s “Treasured Landscapes Initiative.” In it Abbey identifies 14 sites in nine states for possible “national monument” status, including 2.5 million acres in Montana..
The Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 504 loan program is providing long-term, fixed rate financing for the purchase of commercial real estate at one of the lowest interest rates since the program’s inception. The SBA’s lending partners, through Certified Development Companies (CDCs) such as Big Sky Economic Development in Billings, are busy working with small business borrowers who are taking advantage of this current low interest rate to purchase or build new facilities.
A legislative panel has approved a bill to reform Montana’s workers’ compensation system, despite hearing objections from several caregivers who said the proposal was flawed and unfair.
The state Legislature’s Economic Affairs Interim Committee approved the bill, which now moves to the state legislative session in January, as proposed by the Labor -Management Advisory Council (LMAC).
Reports ranged as to how much the changes could save the system. One report said $5.3 million could be saved - or it could bring $20 million in additional costs - and another report put the figure at $150 million in savings.
Montana dropped eight places in an annual ranking of the number of days taxpayers must work in each state to pay off their tax obligations.
Montana ranks 18th on the Center for Fiscal Accountability’s annual list for 2010. According to the group’s calculations, state residents must work 225.3 days, or until Aug. 13, to pay for the cost of government.
The Big Sky Business Journal
P.O. Box 3262
Billings, MT 59103