skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Saturday, July 13, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

VA law prevents utility shutoffs in extreme circumstances; MI construction industry responds to a high number of worker suicides; 500,000 still without power or water in the Houston area; KY experts: Children, and babies at higher risk for heat illness.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The House passes the SAVE Act, but fails to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in inherent contempt of Congress, and a proposed federal budget could doom much-needed public services.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Enticing remote workers to move is a new business strategy in rural America, Eastern Kentucky preservationists want to save the 20th century home of a trailblazing coal miner, and a rule change could help small meat and poultry growers and consumers.

MT Gov's Budget Zeroes Out Cannabis Revenue for Conservation Program

play audio
Play

Tuesday, December 13, 2022   

Conservation and hunting groups are concerned about Governor Greg Gianforte's decision in his proposed budget not to distribute revenue from recreational cannabis to the Habitat Montana program. The 2020 initiative legalizing cannabis for recreational use set aside tax revenue for conservation on state public lands through programs such as Habitat Montana. The program has been around since 1987.

Mike Penfold, a retired employee of the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, said he is disappointed the governor has not included tax revenue from cannabis for Habitat Montana in his budget.

"Habitat Montana has been really effective at conservation easements that protect wildlife habitat and sometimes provide public access on private land, but also allow the private land activities to continue," Penfold said.

Gianforte's proposal includes $12-million for Habitat Montana, which is an increase from the last budget cycle, but eliminates about $30-million in projected cannabis tax revenue. A spokesperson for the governor said Gianforte continues to focus on the state's public lands but wants the cannabis revenue to be used to serve veterans, strengthen treatment services and boost law enforcement.

Molly Bell, Political Director for Montana Conservation Voters, noted lawmakers in the upcoming legislative session are looking at a near record surplus for the next two years, which makes it even more confounding why a funding source for Habitat Montana is being taken away.

"With a $2-billion surplus and especially since this is something that voters approved the whole package, that it definitely needs to be reinstated," Bell said.

About half of the revenue generated from cannabis sales was designed to be set aside for conservation on public lands, according to the voter-approved initiative. Whether that will continue, including for programs such as Habitat Montana, is now up to lawmakers. The 2023 legislative session begins on January 2nd.

Disclosure: Montana Conservation Voters & Education Fund contributes to our fund for reporting on Environment. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
North Carolina has received more than 105,000 contacts to its 988 system via call, chat and text in the past 12 months. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

play sound

North Carolina must increase its crisis response capacity for long-term success, according to a new report by the mental-health policy group …


Health and Wellness

play sound

In response to an alarmingly high number of suicides among construction workers, Michigan's construction leaders have taken measures to tackle mental …

play sound

Major League Baseball's All-Star week kicks off tonight at Globe Life Field in Arlington with the Swingman Classic featuring 50 student athletes from …


Weill Cornell Medicine notes that, along with drinking water to remain hydrated in extreme heat, foods such as watermelon, cantaloupe, grapefruit and homemade popsicles can work well, too. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

play sound

New York doctors are advising people how to stay healthy in the summer heat. Temperatures across the state will reach the high 80s and mid-90s in …

Social Issues

play sound

A new Virginia law protects residents from utility shutoffs in extreme weather. The law prevents utility company shutoffs when temperatures are at …

In making homes more energy efficient, Minnesotans could see new rebates released sometime next year. Officials are still piecing together the framework for these new programs, which are federally funded. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Minnesotans this month have a chance to share their thoughts on how the state should distribute home energy rebates. With federal incentives coming …

Social Issues

play sound

New Mexico teachers educating young people about climate change don't want them to feel hopeless - and they've developed an educational curriculum to …

Health and Wellness

play sound

Health experts are urging residents to stay hydrated and stay out of the sun during peak periods, especially during the heat wave that is gripping …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021