Libbycare, Megaloads of Money, Fracking

Ian Marquand does a special report for KULR-8: The fate of the “Libbycare” Provision

All 3 members of Montana’s congressional delegation say Libby deserves federal help with medical care, and they say helping asbestos victims is hardly a sweetheart proposition. Nonetheless, they disagree about the new health care reform law, and about its future.

In 2010, the Senate defeated an attempt by Arizona Republican John McCain to take Libbycare off the books, and in early 2011, it killed an attempt by Rehberg to block billions in health care spending. Some in Libby worried about that provision, but both Rehberg and a Medicare spokesman in Denver say Libby recipients would have been immune from those cuts.

WashPost: Obama Team Raising Clinton Cash

The Obama campaign was at pains to play down any suggestion that it was targeting Clinton donors or returning hat in hand to the Wall Street moguls it attempted, with mixed success, to chasten.

Before the Lasry event, Messina had several meetings with more enthusiastic audiences. In the afternoon, Jane Hartley, chief executive of the consulting firm Observatory Group, who has emerged as a top Obama fundraiser in New York, held an event for Messina at the University Club attended by the original cadre of the state’s Obama supporters. That group included Orin Kramer, an investor at Boston Provident; James Torrey, an investor at Torrey Funds; and relatively new arrivals such as Roger Altman, chairman of Evercore Partners, and Vincent Mai, chairman of the board of Sesame Workshop. They listened to Messina talk about the campaign’s plan to stress infrastructure and job-creation programs.

Chronicle: Bison Back in Park

In past years, bison captured while leaving the park faced slaughter. However, this year, no bison were sent to slaughterhouses after Gov. Brian Schweitzer barred the use of any highways in Montana to ship bison that may be infected with brucellosis.

The winter concluded with a historic agreement inked by state and federal officials that allowed bison to avoid capture as they migrate out of the park, as long as they remain in the Gardiner Basin. The plan is now being challenged by Park County and the livestock industry.

Dave Skinner fact-checks the Montana Wildlife Federation: Megaloads of Money

Because National Wildlife Federation (NWF) is leading the lawsuit to stop the modules, NWF affiliate Montana Wildlife Federation (MWF) has been feeling a little heat. Called on the guilt-by-association carpet by the evil capitalist Montana Contractors Association, in early May MWF issued a “We’re Not Them” press release, at least the second time MWF has done so: In 2008, NWF won a lawsuit against the relaxation of federal rules on haying and grazing on 24 million acres of privately-owned, good-huntin’ Conservation Reserve Program lands, which of course annoyed plenty of Montana landowners.

Is MWF NWF’s kept girl or not? If not, whose girl might MWF really be?

Daniel Person: Montana Fracking Regs Being Developed

A state board is moving to require oil and gas companies in Montana to publically disclose what chemicals they pump thousands of feet underground to release fossil fuels trapped there.

The rule dealing with hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, comes as the American public has become suspicious of the drilling procedure that some say puts ground water at risk.

Companies would be allowed to withhold some information if it is “unique to the owner … and would, if disclosed, reveal methods or processes entitled to protection as trade secrets.”

Marnee Banks: State Retirement Plans Facing $1.3 Billion Shortfall

The Public Employees Retirement System, PERS, provides benefits for state and local government employees. As of June last year the fund was facing a $1.3 billion shortfall.

Public Employees Retirement Administration Executive Director Roxanne Minnehan says that figure is growing by $50 million a year.

Montana Watchdog added this:

The public has a right to know the retirement benefits they are paying state employees, according to a preliminary opinion by the state attorney general prompted by a request from Montana Watchdog.
In October, Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS) officials asked Attorney General Steve Bullock, pictured at left, for an opinion as to whether they could release the names of the top 10 people and the pension and benefit amounts they are receiving from the state.

In late August, Montana Watchdog reported Montana’s top retiree gets $116,587 in annual benefits with 29 others receiving more than $70,000.

Had a great question from a listener- Matt in Kalispell:  With California being required to reduce their prison population, why not open the prision in Hardin so Montana can create jobs and profit from California’s mismangement? 
Fox News had the story earlier this week:

A sharply divided Supreme Court Monday affirmed a controversial prisoner reduction plan forced on California prison administrators that requires the state to reduce its inmate population by tens-of-thousands to ease overcrowding.

The 5-4 decision authored by Justice Anthony Kennedy, a California native, is a wholesale acceptance of a ruling by a special three-judge panel tasked with resolving chronic overcrowding in the state’s penal system. The February 2009 decision orders California to reduce its prison population that has at times run nearly double its capacity. Approximately 37,000 to 46,000 inmates will have to be released in order for the state to comply with the ruling.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *