Battle of the Budget (No. 402)Battle lines have already been drawn between Democrats and Republicans over how the money should be spent. Governor Schweitzer is calling for $150 million in tax cuts. Republicans are rolling out a "Handshake with Montana" package that includes property tax cuts but includes holding on to a chunk of the budget surplus for a rainy day. Montana Focus covers strategies that both sides plan to employ during the 90-day session. This show is available for viewing, free of charge, online. To stream this program, click on the "SEE IT NOW" link to the left.
Gene Brodeur looks at the divisive mood that seemed to characterize the 2007 Session of the Montana Legislature. Seasoned lawmakers point the finger of blame at term limits and the difficulty that new members have in learning the ropes. Ideological differences over how to best spend a projected billion dollar budget surplus could throw legislators into a Special Session. Produced by Gene Brodeur & Scott Sterling for KUSM-MontanaPBS, MSU-Bozeman, (406) 994-3437.
Legislative Wrap (No. 403)
Energy build out: What has happened since Governor Schweitzer's ambitious proposals to develop coal fired energy plants and wind power? Montana Focus looks at strategies to lessen the state's dependence on market based energy prices with the added value feature of exporting energy to markets like Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
Energy Build Out (No. 404)
In a dry state like Montana, water is nearly as valuable as gold. Gene Brodeur will look at significant revisions to Water Use Laws passed in the 2007 Legislature.
Thirsty for Water (No. 405)
By the year 2030, the glaciers in Glacier National Park are expected to disappear. Montana Focus talks with leading glacier researcher Dan Fagre about climate changes that have prompted this gloomy forecast. And, the Blue Angels attract some 20 million spectators a year to their astonishing precision flying. Lieutenant Commander Anthony Walley, a Navy pilot, talks about his 'dream job' during an air show in Bozeman.
Disappearing Glaciers (No. 406)
Risky subprime loans and high interest rate mortgages have taken a devastating toll on homeowners and lending institutions across the country. So far, Montana has fared better than other states, but financial fallout connected to predatory lending schemes is apparent. A Missoula resident saw her loan rate jump from 7.24% to an unaffordable 11.36% per cent. Montana Focus visits with housing and loan experts who are trying to stay ahead of the national slump by advising potential home buyers that if their mortgage deal looks too good to be true, it probably is. Also, Lee Newspapers Capitol Bureau Chief Chuck Johnson talks about the recent proposal to move the legislative sessions from odd to even numbered years. And, Montana is taking part in an early avian flu detection project.
Mortgage Market Jitters (No. 501)