Dan Boyce

Capitol Bureau Chief

Dan Boyce provides radio and online reports daily from the State Capitol. A native Montanan, Dan was raised in Lewistown and graduated from the University of Montana with a broadcast journalism degree in December, 2008. He took the position of MTPR Capitol Bureau Chief after more than two years working as a reporter with KBZK-TV in Bozeman. Dan has won local, regional, and national awards for both his radio and television reporting. His work has appeared nationally on the NPR programs All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and Weekend Edition as well as on CNN and The CBS Evening News. Dan has also taken part in journalism fellowships in both Germany and Pakistan.

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Medicaid Expansion
6:47 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Legislative Fiscal Division refutes Gov.’s cost estimate for Medicaid Expansion

The summary included with the fiscal note on Medicaid expansion submitted by the Governor's Office of Budget and Program Planning.
Credit OBPP

Governor Steve Bullock announced his support Wednesday for a voter initiative to expand Medicaid, called the Healthy Montana Initiative.

Medicaid expansion is an optional piece of the Federal Affordable Care Act, and Republican majorities in the Montana Legislature decided not to approve it in 2013.

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Solar Power
5:54 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Solar power installations continue dropping in price, pay off in under ten years in MT

Solar Montana Owner Jackson Isbell stands in front of his installation at Helena's River Rock Residences.
Credit Dan Boyce

The price of solar panels continues to drop, making them a more reasonable option for households.

Montanans are taking notice; solar adoption rates have been rising in the last five years.

A solar project just switched on in January at Helena’s River Rock Residences, a low-income senior housing complex operated by the nonprofit Rocky Mountain Development Corporation.

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Flathead Water Compact
1:41 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

More asking for re-negotiation on Flathead Water Compact

Credit Flickr, Peggy2012CREATIVELENZ

More are calling for a re-opening of negotiations on the Flathead Water Compact, soon possibly including the state commission which helped craft the compact.

But the Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes are holding firm with the current version.

The CSKT have been working on this agreement with the state and federal governments and private irrigators for at least a dozen years. It would settle disputes over how water is shared on the Flathead reservation.

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Bomb Threat
12:32 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

California boy arrested as suspect in Helena bomb threats

Jefferson Elementary students and their parents sign out with school officials Friday from the Capitol Rotunda, the school's evacuation area.
Credit Dan Boyce

UPDATE 5:00 PM

Authorities have arrested a 14-year-old boy Dublin, California in connection with the series of bomb threats this week in Helena.

Police Chief Troy McGee says researching the calls earlier from earlier in the week led authorities to believe they may have been coming from out of state.

“All the IP Addresses, all the wifi connections, there are just so many ways you can connect with people this day and age, but all of them you can trace backwards,” he said, adding the department asked the FBI for help in the case.

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Cancer Challenge
5:04 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

State employees to don sneakers with their suits for cancer awareness

Gov. Steve Bullock (D-MT) announces the American Cancer Society's Suits and Sneakers Challenge from the capitol rotunda Tuesday
Credit Dan Boyce

State employees are taking an opportunity to sport some casual wear to work in exchange for donations to the American Cancer Society.

It’s part of what the society calls the suits and sneakers challenge.

From now until the end of the NCAA finals basketball tournament, state workers will be able to wear sneakers with their business suits or collegiate apparel on Thursdays and Fridays in exchange for a $5 dollar donation.

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John Walsh
4:17 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Sen. Walsh on Obamacare, military spending, and the controversy surrounding his appointment

U.S. Sen. John Walsh (D-MT)

Montana’s newest United States Senator, John Walsh, is starting his second month in office.

The former Lieutenant Governor and head of the Montana National Guard was appointed by Governor Steve Bullock to fill the seat vacated by long-time Senator Max Baucus. Baucus is now the U.S. Ambassador to China. 

Walsh was already running for the Senate Seat when appointed. Bullock’s move to appoint him has been seen as an attempt to give Walsh a political edge in this November’s election against likely Republican challenger, Congressman Steve Daines.

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Wolf Hunting
5:28 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Only five additional wolf kills recorded despite liberalized season

A wolf is featured on the latest issue of the Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks magazine, "Montana Outdoors."
Credit Dan Boyce

  The final numbers for this wolf hunting season look to be very close to those from last year. The six-month season ended this past Saturday. Hunters and trappers killed a total of 230 wolves, compared with 225 last season.

The very similar numbers come despite more aggressive hunting rules from Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks.

It’s the second year trappers have been added to the state’s strategy to reign in wolf numbers--and trapping numbers actually dropped, from 97 down to 86.

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State Budget
8:54 am
Fri March 14, 2014

MT's budget on track

Analysts expect Montana’s budget surplus to be slightly higher than previous predictions.

The estimate comes from the Legislative Fiscal Division. It now predicts the state will have nearly $353 million left in the bank at the end of this budget cycle. That’s almost $6 million higher than estimates in December.

Conrad Republican Senator Llew Jones chairs the Legislative Finance committee, which looks at the budget between Legislative sessions. He said, overall, the budget is staying right about where it should.

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Affordable Care Act
5:47 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

MT's Obamacare enrollment numbers continue to climb

The number of Montanans applying for health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act continues to climb. Residents signed up for about 4,000 plans on the state’s online Obamacare marketplace in the month of February. That makes nearly 23,000 plans since the marketplace opened last fall.

The rate of signups sits above the national average, according to Mike Dennison with Lee Newspapers.

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Montana BASE
10:28 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Moderate Republicans touting virtues of “light money” PAC

The moderate GOP lawmakers calling themselves "Responsible Republicans" gather for a press conference following the 2013 Montana Legislative Session.
Credit Montana BASE website

 A group of moderate Republicans who denounce anonymous campaign spending in elections say their Political Action Committee, or PAC, plays by the rules.

PACs have been the source of so-called dark money over the last few elections cycles, and a lot of that spending in Montana has been aimed at helping more conservative Republicans win primary campaigns.

The moderates say this time they’re fighting back--in a transparent way.

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