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Articles written by Kathryn Haake


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  • Women's health funding faces cuts in Montana

    KATHRYN HAAKE, ,Associated Press

    HELENA — When Jennifer Strickley first learned she had ovarian cancer, it was Planned Parenthood that detected the disease. She had been going to a Planned Parenthood clinic in Billings for about a decade, as the discounts on Pap tests, contraception and regular checkups provided an essential break for the single mom working without health insurance as a waitress to support her two kids. So when she found lump on her abdomen in 2011, that's where she went to get it checked out. Strickley is one of 26,000 Montanans who rely u...

  • Montana agency rules out fever in 1 bison death

    Kathryn Haake

    BOZEMAN (AP) — Montana wildlife officials said Tuesday they have ruled out a disease transmitted by sheep as the cause of death of a bison found in the Yellowstone River. Fish, Wildlife and Parks veterinarians reached the conclusion while investigating whether the introduction of sheep on land north of Yellowstone National Park had resulted in the spread of catarrhal fever to three dead bison. Sheep can carry the fever without showing any symptoms, but it can be fatal if transmitted to bison. The Gallatin Wildlife A... Full story

  • Montana Senate backs eminent domain rollback

    Kathryn Haake

    HELENA (AP) — The Montana Senate has backed a measure that would repeal some of the powers of eminent domain granted by the 2011 Legislature. Senate Bill 180 would roll back the law that gave both public utility companies and other energy development companies the right to purchase private property for public use. The bill's sponsor, Republican Sen. Debby Barrett of Dillon, says the 2011 Legislature made a mistake in passing HB 198. She says more than 40 states have laws limiting the seizure of private property for e...

  • Lawmakers move closer to budget deal with governor

    KATHRYN HAAKE, MATT GOURAS, Associated Press

    HELENA — Gov. Steve Bullock and the Montana Legislature moved closer Tuesday to an agreement on the remaining big pieces of the state budget and eyed an early adjournment. Bullock said a gap of only about $30 million remained between lawmakers considering the two-year, $10 billion spending plan. Both sides were working late to reach agreement on the priorities. Bullock was asking lawmakers for more funding for child protective service, prisons, and law enforcement in booming oil fields and other areas. He said more than $6 m...

  • Bullock vetoes 6 bills, including bison measure

    Kathryn Haake

    HELENA — Gov. Steve Bullock has vetoed six bills, including a proposal to restrict bison relocation in the state and another that would end same-day voter registration. The anti-bison measure, House Bill 396, would have required all future bison relocations to be approved by county commissioners in the county where the potential moved is planned. In a letter to Republican leadership, Bullock said the measure wasn't "sound public policy" and would interfere with already established laws that manage wildlife and control d... Full story

  • Panel considers Warburton plan for ending unisex insurance rates

    KATHRYN HAAKE, Associated Press

    HELENA — Even Shawn McQuillan's 88-year-old grandfather says his 20-year-old grandson drives too cautiously. The younger McQuillan, who says he has never been in a car accident or received a ticket, testified against a measure Friday that would allow some insurance companies to consider gender when determining Montanans' policy rates — a measure that he finds discriminatory. "If the bill before you is enacted, I would pay more simply because I am a male," McQuillan said. Presented by Rep. Wendy Warburton, R-Chinook, to the... Full story

  • Bullock jobs bill tabled in legislative committee

    Kathryn Haake

    HELENA (AP) — A Republican-led committee is rejecting Gov. Steve Bullock's plan to increase the mandatory hiring percentage of Montana workers on public-works projects in the state. The House Business and Labor Committee tabled House Bill 490 Thursday with an 11-9 vote. The measure would have required that at least 75 percent of the laborers on state or local projects be Montana residents. The current requirement is 50 percent. Democratic Rep. Amanda Curtis of Butte is carrying the bill for the governor. She told the House p... Full story

  • Roadkill salvage bill on track to Bullock

    KATHRYN HAAKE, Associated Press

    HELENA — A proposal to allow people to salvage roadkill for food is in the fast lane to the Montana governor's office after the state Senate gave its initial backing. The measure calls for law-enforcement officers to issue permits to remove the carcasses of elk, deer, antelope and moose off the state's roadways. An earlier version would have allowed fur-bearing animals, upland game birds and migratory game birds to be scraped up, too. Supporters say the measure would stop good game meat from going to waste. Opponents q...

  • Gun bills heard on universities, concealed carry

    Kathryn Haake

    HELENA (AP) — A measure allowing people to carry concealed firearms without a permit in Montana's cities and towns is a logical addition to state law, Rep. Krayton Kerns told a legislative panel Monday. The Laurel Republican said his "permit-less conceal carry bill" would give city dwellers the same privileges as rural residents, who already can carry a weapon underneath a coat without a permit. "Right now I can walk down Main Street Laurel and I can carry a gun in my hand. I can carry it in my briefcase. I can carry it in m...

  • Senate rejects doctor-assisted suicide bill

    KATHRYN HAAKE, Associated Press

    HELENA (AP) — The Montana Senate has rejected a measure that would have made it illegal for doctors and caregivers to help terminally ill people kill themselves. House Bill 505 was struck down Monday in a 27-23 floor vote after senators removed it from the Senate Judiciary Committee, where it was stuck after failing to get a majority of support. The Montana Supreme Court ruled in 2009 that nothing in state law prohibits assisted suicide, effectively making Montana the third state to allow it. The Legislature previously f...

  • House panel hears bill to decriminalize gay sex

    Kathryn Haake

    HELENA — A House panel heard a measure Friday that would remove an obsolete Montana law that criminalizes gay sex by labeling it a deviate sexual behavior on par with bestiality. Senate Bill 107 seeks to remove that language from the existing statutes, reflecting a 1997 Montana Supreme Court ruling that said the law prohibiting gay sex is unconstitutional. The measure to strike the law has already passed the state Senate in a 39-11 vote, but now is before the House Judiciary Committee — the same panel that killed a sim...

  • Salish and Kootenai may sue after lawmakers kill water compact

    Kathryn Haake

    HELENA — The Montana Legislature's failure to ratify a water-rights compact has left the Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes no choice but to take legal action, a tribal spokesman said. The Legislature's inaction on bills that would have given the state's approval on the compact in the works since 1979 "sends a chilling message" to the tribes, said communications director Rob McDonald. "I am personally concerned with the future of community," McDonald said. "It's bad for business. It's bad for the sense of community." A... Full story

  • Panel hears bill to protect online privacy

    KATHRYN HAAKE, Associated Press

    HELENA — A House committee is considering a measure that would prohibit employers from requesting job applicants' and employees' social media usernames and passwords. Democratic Sen. Anders Blewett of Great Falls presented the Senate Bill 195 Thursday to the House Business and Labor Committee. He says nothing in Montana law prevents employers from requesting the "keys to someone's personal information" on social media websites such as Facebook. Mark Baker, representing the Kalispell Chamber of Commerce, says the measure w...

  • Proposal protects workers' social media privacy

    Kathryn Haake

    HELENA — Employers would be prohibited from requesting the username and password of an applicant or employee's social media account under a measure presented Thursday to the House Business and Labor Committee. Bill sponsor Sen. Anders Blewett, D-Great Falls, said the proposal would fill a void in Montana law to prevent employers from requesting the "keys to someone's personal life" on social media websites such as Facebook and personal email accounts. In 2009, the city of Bozeman requested that potential employees r... Full story

  • Montana lawmakers look at consumer-data proposal

    Kathryn Haake

    HELENA — A House panel heard a bill Tuesday that would require companies to divulge the personal information they glean from consumers and to which entities they sell the information. House Bill 572 would give consumers the option to request the personal information an entity has collected about them. Rep. Bryce Bennett, D- Missoula, told the House Business and Labor Committee the data collected by companies belongs to the consumers. "The reality is ... there are these big companies that are doing this. They openly admit t...

  • MT House endorses measure to decriminalize gay sex

    KATHRYN HAAKE, Associated Press

    HELENA — The Montana House has endorsed a bill that would repeal an obsolete state law criminalizing gay sex a day after voting to bypass the committee that tabled the measure. AP Photo/Matt Gouras Republican Rep. Duane Ankney, left, of Colstrip, speaks on the House floor Tuesday, in Helena. Ankney joined the chamber in voting to repeal an obsolete law that criminalizes gay sex. The House gave its initial approval Tuesday to Senate Bill 107 on a 64-36 vote. It needs to pass a final vote before facing Gov. Steve Bullock. The S...

  • House advances bill to decriminalize gay sex

    KATHRYN HAAKE, Associated Press

    HELENA — The Montana House is moving forward with a measure that would repeal an obsolete state law that criminalizes gay sex, despite a committee's decision to table it. Rep. Bryce Bennett, D-Missoula, made the motion Monday to take Senate Bill 107 out of the House Judiciary Committee and place it on the agenda for a House vote. Bennett, who is gay, said the law emphasizes inequality and pointed to the 1997 Montana Supreme Court case that ruled the language criminalizing gay sex was unconstitutional. "Under this law, I am c... Full story

  • Montana raw milk bill moo-ving ahead

    Kathryn Haake

    HELENA — It's white, frothy and enthusiasts say it's udderly healthy — but the sale of raw milk is illegal in Montana. That could change if state lawmakers pass House Bill 574, which would legalize the purchase of unpasteurized milk directly from small, unregulated dairies. Critics and state regulators say it could expose Montanans to serious illnesses. Supporters of the measure say it is very much in line with a growing movement that encourages locally grown organic food, farmer accountability and personal responsibility, an...

  • Montana Gov. Bullock vetoes 12 bills

    KATHRYN HAAKE, Associated Press

    HELENA — Gov. Steve Bullock vetoed a measure Friday that he says would have allowed a way for anonymous political organizations to contribute to campaigns through religious groups. House Bill 217 would have exempted religious organizations from campaign finance reports. The measure would have given so-called "dark money" groups the opportunity to donate to campaigns through churches without any oversight or regulation, Bullock said in his veto letter. The Democratic governor also vetoed 11 other bills Friday, including one t...

  • Mont. lawmakers endorse bills to restrict bison

    KATHRYN HAAKE,Associated Press

    HELENA (AP) — The Montana Legislature is moving ahead with plans to restrict where wild bison can be moved and to decrease the size of herds. The bills underscore the division between wildlife supporters who want to see free-roaming bison restored to the grasslands where they used to roam by the millions and landowners who say the time of the bison has passed. One such grassland, The Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Reserve, is a 1.1 million-acre prairie that conservationists say is prime bison real estate, but farmers l...

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