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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Train Delays
2:17 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

NW Montana avalanche delays BNSF, Amtrak trains again

An Amtrak train delayed by snow in Omaha, Nebraska in 2009.
Credit Loco Steve, flickr

UPDATE: 2:30 PM: Matt Jones with BNSF said freight travel re-opened at 12:30 PM today on one of the two tracks closed by last night's avalanche. The other track should open soon. 

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Amtrak and BNSF trains are delayed after an avalanche was reported late Sunday night east of the small northwest Montana town of Essex.

BNSF Regional Public Affairs Director Matt Jones expects the debris to be cleared from the track and freight trains should running again by this afternoon.

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State Prison
3:20 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

ACLU alleging widespread mistreatment of mentally ill at state prison

  The American Civil Liberties Union of Montana has written a letter to the state alleging widespread mistreatment of mental illness in both the Montana State Prison and state hospital.

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Brian Schweitzer
4:50 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Schweitzer: MSNBC contract has nothing to do with Presidential ambitions

  Former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer will be hitting the airwaves of MSNBC as a political contributor, and he’ll be doing so from the comfort of his home on Georgetown Lake. Schweitzer said that was part of the reason he chose to sign with MSNBC.

“Some of the other networks require you to fly to New York or Washington D.C. and do work in the studio and I really don’t like being out of Montana that much,” Schweitzer said.

Since leaving office at the beginning of last year, Schweitzer has regularly appeared on networks like ABC, CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC.

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Republican Rift
5:43 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Republican divide widening ahead of MT primary election

Credit Jacob Baynham, Community News Service, UM School of Journalism

 As Montana moves toward the June primary elections, a deep divide still exists between elements of the state legislature’s Republican caucus.

This split between moderate and conservative Republicans was most dramatically seen in the 2013 Montana Senate, where the GOP held a 29-21 majority over Democrats. The body almost seemed to have three caucuses, though, as a small group of Republicans regularly defied party leadership to side with Democrats on a number of key issues such as campaign spending law changes, school funding legislation, and state employee pension reform.

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USDOJ Investigation
5:57 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Landquist: Van Valkenburg threw the Missoula County Commission “under the bus”

A 2012 letter from then-Attorney General Steve Bullock to UDDOJ's Montana representative Michael Cotter requests a meeting to discuss the federal agency's investigation into how Missoula handles sexual assault.

A Missoula County Commissioner believes County Attorney, Fred Van Valkenburg is throwing the commission “under the bus” in the county’s lawsuit against the federal Department of Justice.

The DOJ has been investigating how Missoula law enforcement, the University of Montana and the County Attorney’s Office handle sexual assault cases after a string of such crimes were brought to light in 2012.

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VINE Program
5:11 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

The state system which allows anyone to track the whereabouts of adult felony offenders

  The Montana Department of Corrections is expanding a notification system which allows victims of crimes to know the whereabouts of their offenders.

The Victim Information and Notification Everyday system, or VINE, allows victims to receive phone calls, texts or emails about changes in the custody status or location of any adult felony offender in the corrections system.

The system started tracking offenders on probation and parole late last year, which adds the movements of 84-hundred people to the system.

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Medicaid Expansion
5:38 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Supporters of Medicaid expansion initiative can begin gathering signatures

Supporters of an initiative looking to expand Medicaid in the state can now begin gathering signatures to place the measure on the November ballot.

The Attorney General’s Office approved the Healthy Montana Plan this week after finding problems with earlier versions of the initiative.

Capitol Reporter Dan Boyce says opponents still believe the measure violates the state constitution. 

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Megaloads
5:44 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Lawmakers ask if Missoula can charge fees to megaload shipments

State lawmakers are asking what rights local governments have to charge fees to megaload shipments moving through Montana cities and towns.

These vehicles carry enormous pieces of equipment, blocking traffic as they haul their freight often to the tar sands of Canada or the Bakken oil patch.

The legislature’s Revenue and Transportation Interim committee inquired into the fees Tuesday.

Capitol Reporter Dan Boyce says the city of Missoula began charging them a few years ago. 

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Walsh Appointment
5:52 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Bullock says he was not in touch with Democratic operatives on Walsh appointment

Gov. Steve Bullock, Lt. Gov. John Walsh and Walsh's wife, Janet on the day of Walsh's appointment to the U.S. Senate.
Credit Dan Boyce

Governor Steve Bullock said Friday he spoke to no Democratic Party officials ahead of appointing John Walsh to the U.S. Senate other than to tell Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid the issue was “none of your damn business.”

This is in response to criticism from the state GOP, which has described the move as a political backroom deal orchestrated to help Democrats maintain control of the Senate in the 2014 election.

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REAL ID
3:35 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Daines introduces bill to repeal federal ID mandates

Rep. Steve Daines (R-MT) introduces his "Repeal ID Act of 2014" Thursday in the state capitol along with Attorney General Tim Fox (R-MT)
Credit Dan Boyce

Montana Congressman Steve Daines announced plans Thursday to introduce a bill repealing portions of the 2005 REAL ID Act related to federally-mandated security protocols for driver’s licenses and other state-issued ID cards.

“In recent months, Montanans have become increasingly concerned about the federal government’s access to Montana’s personal information,” Daines said during a press conference in the state capitol building’s old Supreme Court chambers.

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