Governor Steve Bullock announced yesterday that the Montana State Fund Board of Directors recently reduced workers’ compensation rates by 5%.
Montana’s strong fiscal management and efforts by employers to keep workers safe results in more hard-earned dollars to invest in business, employees, and Montana’s economy,” said Governor Bullock. “As we continue to build on the economic strength of Montana businesses, this is another step forward to help businesses grow and create more good-paying jobs.”
As a result of positive loss experiences, the Montana State Fund Board of Directors made the decision on Friday to reduce the rate for 2018. There has not been a rate increase since 2006. Since 2007, rates have gone down or remained flat every year.
We are extremely excited to announce this rate reduction,” said Lance Zanto, Board Chair of Montana State Fund. “The employers of Montana are to be commended for their positive approach to controlling their costsTheir hard work is paying off.”
In the face of rising medical costs and the current medical inflation rate of 4%, Montana employers are improving their efforts to provide a safe workplace. When injuries do occur, employers are helping the employee to return to work sooner. As employers continue to implement efficient safety programs that protect their employees from injury, the Board anticipates rates will continue to decline.

SERIES: The MTGOP’s Misplaced Priorities

Republican Legislators Put Political Agenda Ahead of Montana Jobs

The Montana Democratic Party today continues “The MTGOP’s Misplaced Priorities” campaign highlighting Republican Legislators’ focus on backward legislation that benefits their political agenda, ahead of legislation that promotes job creation or strengthens our economy.

This week saw the introduction of Senate Bill 329, from Sen. Keith Regier (R-Kalispell), and a House Judiciary hearing on SB 282, from Sen. Albert Olszewski (R-Kalispell), both of which restrict a woman’s right to make her own personal healthcare decisions.

Montanans don’t want politicians like Sen. Regier and Sen. Olszewski making their healthcare decisions for them. Personal healthcare matters should be kept between a woman and her doctor, her family, and her faith.

Both of these bills are an unconstitutional restriction on reproductive healthcare and in the case of Sen. Regier’s bill, a similar piece of legislation in Idaho was recently struck down by the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Sen. Regier and Sen. Olszewski’s bills are just another unnecessary Republican attack on women’s health instead of focusing on creating high-wage jobs and growing Montana’s economy.

Montanans deserve better.

Quist Denounces Dangerous D.C. Health Care Proposal; Gianforte Won’t Oppose It

Washington GOP Insiders’ Plan Would Leave 24 Million Uninsured, Give Tax Breaks to Millionaires Like Gianforte

Montana U.S. House candidate Rob Quist today denounced House leadership’s health care plan in D.C.–which would leave 24 million Americans uninsured while giving $600 billion in tax breaks to corporations and millionaires.

Millionaire Congressional candidate, Greg Gianforte this week refused to publicly oppose the proposal that would effectively cut access to health insurance for thousands of Montanans.

“Montanans deserve a real answer on where their candidates stand when it comes to reliable, affordable health care– and Greg Gianforte is not giving them that,” said Rob Quist, candidate for the U.S. House. This D.C. health care proposal is dangerous and out of touch with what working Montanans need– and until Greg Gianforte tells us he’d vote against it, it’s safe to assume he’ll be toeing the party line, just like he always has.”

House Republican leadership, which wrote the health care proposal, is currently spending $700,000 in TV ads on Gianforte’s behalf via their SuperPac.

According to the Associated Press and non-partisan reports, under the D.C. health care proposal:

  • Montana would have to spend an extra $126 million a year to continue its Medicaid expansion program under proposed legislation to replace the federal Affordable Care Act
  • 12,700 new potential jobs in Montana created under Medicaid expansion would not materialize

Greg Gianforte lost his bid in Montana’s 2016 gubernatorial race. He touts his support for efforts in D.C. to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which provides affordable healthcare to over 70,000 Montanans. Gianforte has long funded D.C. special interest groups, including Americans for Prosperity, that fought Montana’s bipartisan HELP Act.

Tester: Russia ‘sought to undermine our privacy and our democracy’

Senator Holds Putin Accountable for Cyberattacks

Senator Jon Tester today called for greater sanctions to be placed on Russian officials following their hacking efforts to undermine America’s democracy.

Tester’s call for greater oversight comes on the heels of news that the U.S. is indicting two Russian Intelligence officers for hacking the Yahoo accounts of millions of Americans.

“It is important for the American public and all of their elected representatives to remember this: Russia attacked the United States and sought to undermine our privacy and our democracy,” Tester said.  “It’s not a partisan issue, it’s not something we should be playing politics with, but I believe the sanctions put into place were a starting point–more needs to be done.”

During a Senate Banking Hearing, Tester looked for next steps to hold Russia accountable for their invasion of Montanans’ privacy.

Earlier this month, Tester sponsored a bipartisan bill to prohibit any President from unilaterally lifting sanctions on Russia.

Tester sent a letter to President Trump urging him to keep sanctions on Russia.

Tester Slams Bill That Increases Premiums, Kicks Millions off Insurance

Non-Partisan Report: Legislation Will Cause Premiums to Rise
up to 20% and Force 24 Million to Lose Health Insurance 

Senator Jon Tester released the following statement after the independent, non-partisan Congressional Budget Office revealed that the House of Representatives’ replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would force 24 million Americans to lose health insurance and cause premiums to rise up to 20 percent:

“This reckless effort will kick folks off of their health care plan, increase premiums for Montana families, and saddle our children with more debt.  Rather than dismantle the progress we have made and go back to the old health care system where people couldn’t afford to get sick, I want to work with Republicans, Democrats, and Independents to improve the Affordable Care Act and increase access and affordability to health care for all Montanans.”  

The House bill cuts $880 billion from Medicaid and phases out Medicaid expansion, which is securing health care for over 71,000 hardworking Montanans.  

The Congressional Budget Office’s report on the House of Representatives’ ACA replacement plan is available HERE.

Please click on the following links for in-depth reporting on how the House of Representatives’ ACA replacement plan will negatively impact overall access to carerural communities, older Montananswomenlow-income Montanansaddiction treatment, and public health and widespread disease.

Greg Gianforte worked against healthcare for Montanans

When it comes to accessing quality healthcare in Montana, you can count on New Jersey multimillionaire and failed gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte to block the way.

Over the years, Gianforte has contributed thousands of dollars to D.C. special interest groups which have actively worked to kill the bi-partisan HELP Act that has brought healthcare to more than 70,000 hard-working Montanans.

  • The Heritage Foundation advocated against Medicaid expansion in Montana  03/05/13, attacked moderate Republicans who supported medicaid expansion  (5/10/13) and called on states to not only “reject Medicaid expansion” but to also “scale back existing eligibility where possible” 03/05/13.

  • From 2008 to 2014, Gianforte contributed $8,000 to the Heritage Foundation. [Gianforte Family Charitable Trust IRS 990 via]

“Montanans can’t count on New Jersey millionaire Greg Gianforte to stand up for their right to access quality healthcare,” said Nancy Keenan, executive director of the Montana Democratic Party. “With his sizeable contributions to special interests that actively work against Montana families, he just simply can’t be trusted to represent Montanans in Washington D.C.”

Quist Slams Gianforte’s D.C. Agenda to Gut Health Care Coverage for Thousands of Montanans 

Today, U.S. House candidate Rob Quist criticized opponent, Greg Gianforte, for standing with special interests and irresponsible Republicans in D.C. who are working to pass legislation that would jeopardize access to health care for thousands of Montanans while giving millionaires like Gianforte $600 billion in tax breaks.

“It is the right of every Montanan to have access to quality affordable health care,” said Rob Quist, candidate for the U.S. House. “Greg Gianforte is putting thousands of Montanans at risk of losing their health insurance by siding with Washington D.C. insiders.”  

Failed candidate for governor, Greg Gianforte, accepted the Republican nomination for the U.S. House while touting support for efforts in D.C. to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

The plan put out by Republican leaders would devastate Montana by effectively cutting off health care access put in place by Montana’s HELP Act that enabled over 70,000 Montanans to have access to health care. The House Republican plan further hits rural states like Montana by reducing tax credits that help consumers with premiums, making health insurance less affordable for many Montana families who purchase individual health insurance plans.

House Republican leadership’s SuperPAC, Congressional Leadership Fund, is spending $700,000 in attack TV ads to help Gianforte in the race.

Week in Review: Quist Rallies Voters, Gianforte Hides

Both Rob Quist and Greg Gianforte earned nominations earlier this week, but both candidates have spent the first week on the trail very differently.
Rob Quist hit the road to Missoula, Billings, Lewistown, Great Falls, Bozeman, Livingston, and Butte. Montanans everywhere are rallying behind his message to bring an independent voice to Washington.
Greg Gianforte has held no campaign events in Montana. He is either at home counting the millions of dollars he plans to spend to buy the election, or he is courting special interests in Washington DC.
Check out coverage from Rob’s travels below:

Gianforte Still Supports the Unpopular Citizens United Decision

This week, failed candidate for governor, New Jersey multi-millionaire Greg Gianoforte refused to support a constitutional amendment overturning Citizens United and taking corporate and special interest money out of politics.

“New Jersey multimillionaire Greg Gianforte will continue to fight for corporate money in elections,” said Nancy Keenan, Executive Director of the Montana Democratic Party. “As Montanans fight to overturn Citizens United, Gianforte is funding the groups that believe corporations are people. We need a voice in the U.S. House that wants less money in politics, not more. 

Gianforte has deep ties to the controversial Citizens United decision and special interests meddling in our elections.
Yesterday, Rob Quist announced his support to finally overturn the unpopular and controversial Citizens United decision. Gianforte refuses to follow suit.

Tester Calls for Public Disclosure of Executive Branch Ethics Pledge Waivers

Senator to Trump: Let’s Work Together to Truly “Drain the Swamp”

(U.S. Senate) – U.S. Senator Jon Tester today called on President Trump to disclose the names and positions of any executive branch officials who have been granted a waiver to the White House’s ethics pledge. 

Tester pushed President Trump to maintain the previous requirement that the Office of Government Ethics publicly disclose which executive branch officials signed the White House ethics pledge, whether their ethics pledges were waived, and whether those waivers were granted appropriately.  These disclosures have long been available to the public. 

Tester’s letter comes after reports found that three former lobbyists have been hired to work in the White House on the same issues they use to lobby for.

“This is an area where we can work closely together,” Tester wrote to Trump. Transparency and public accountability are vital to the success of our government. We have a unique opportunity to work together on ethics reform to ensure the rules we put in place regarding lobbying activity are properly followed.”

President Trump issued an executive order on January 28th that establishes standards for incoming and outgoing Executive Branch officials regarding lobbying activity.  The Executive Order also removed the requirement that ethics pledge waivers be publicly disclosed and made electronically available.  So far, the White House has not publicly disclosed whether any executive branch officials have been granted ethics pledge waivers.

Tester highlighted that without a public disclosure requirement, President Trump’s efforts to institute a lobbying ban for executive branch officials may not be fully honored by White House officials.

“This information is vital to the success of a transparent government, and I believe this common sense step would go a long way to show the public that all rules regarding lobbying activity are being followed,” Tester added.

President Trump’s executive order also contains a provision similar to Tester’s bill, the Cleaning Up Washington’s Act, which bans certain executive branch officials from lobbying five years after leaving civil service. 

Tester’s bill goes further than President Trump’s executive order and also bans former members of Congress from lobbying for up to five years after leaving the House of Representatives or Senate.  Tester’s bill guarantees that the lobbying ban remains in place after President Trump leaves office.

 Tester’s letter to President Trump is available HERE.