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State Constitutions and Abortion Rights: Building Protections for Reproductive Autonomy

April 22, 2022

This report outlines 11 states in which high courts have recognized that their state constitutions protect abortion rights and access independently from and more strongly than the U.S. Constitution or have struck down restrictions that were upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. The analysis considers how this jurisprudence can expand and shape efforts to secure reproductive rights.

Perceptions of Democracy Survey

November 21, 2021

This survey polled Americans in five western states to find out how they feel about the state of democracy in America, perceptions on common ground, the state of media and misinformation, and views on the 2020 election and January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. This poll was conducted between September 24 - October 26 2021 among a sample of 1899 Adults in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming. The interviews were conducted online and the data were weighted to approximate a target sample of Adults in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming based on gender by age, educational attainment, race and ethnicity and 2020 presidential vote choice (including not voting).

2021 Park County, Montana Housing Needs Assessment

November 3, 2021

In recent years, housing has become a critical issue in Park County, but identifying exactly what is happening in the ever-changing housing market can be difficult. The Park County Housing Coalition -- a collaborative project of the Park County Community Foundation and Human Resource Development Council of District IX (HRDC) -- produced the 2021 Park County Housing Needs Assessment to compile the best information available about this community-wide challenge.

Designed to Deceive: A Study of the Crisis Pregnancy Industry in Nine States

October 28, 2021

This report sheds light on the activities and funding sources of crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) -- centerpieces of an extreme anti-abortion strategy that has been quietly unfolding for decades, behind higher-profile legislative and legal battles.The report shows that, rather than offer legitimate healthcare and resources, CPCs target pregnant people of color and pregnant people with lower incomes with deceptive marketing; provide few or no real medical services; and systematically mislead clients about services they do provide, potentially resulting in delayed care and unnecessary risks to their clients' health.

2021 Report to the Community

June 1, 2021

As the COVID-19 pandemic was first making its impact felt in our region, we were able to assert our financial resiliency and be among the first charitable institutions in the nation to act boldly, quickly establishing a $50 million emergency fund through our subsidiary, Community Benefit Financial Company (CBFC). This platform was structured to provide desperately needed assistance to organizations as they worked to support those whose lives were suddenly buffeted by unprecedented health, economic, and racial justice challenges.Over the ensuing months, CBFC emerged as a trusted partner to a network of frontline agencies working in collaboration with other organizations to provide financial support and emergency services throughout the region, including community development financial institutions (CDFIs) and community development corporations (CDCs).Between our responsive grantmaking and emergency fund distributions, in 2020 OBT invested more than $71 million in 900+ organizations across the region.

When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 2017 Homicide Data

September 1, 2019

The U.S. Department of Justice has found that women are far more likely to be the victims of violent crimes committed by intimate partners than men, especially when a weapon is involved. Moreover, women are much more likely to be victimized at home than in any other place.This study provides a stark reminder that domestic violence and guns make a deadly combination. According to reports submitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), firearms are rarely used to kill criminals or stop crimes. Instead, they are all too often used to inflict harm on the very people they were intended to protect.

Montana’s Asthma Home Visiting Program

January 1, 2019

The Montana Asthma Home Visiting Program (MAP), offered by the Montana Asthma Control Program (MACP), was designed to address basic asthma pathophysiology and asthma medications, and it has a significant home environmental focus to address asthma triggers. The program includes six contacts (visits or phone calls) with a nurse or respiratory therapist provided over the course of a year. It also includes help identifying potential asthma triggers in the home, custom asthma education, educational resources and referrals to community services (e.g., weatherization services, health insurance), individual help with managing the medical system, free allergen-proof pillow and mattress covers, and free air filters for those with animals or smokers present in the home.

Is Federal Crop Insurance Policy Leading to Another Dust Bowl?

March 23, 2017

As the southern Great Plains get hotter and drier, is federal policy that encourages farmers not to adapt to climate change leading to another Dust Bowl?That's the troubling question raised by a new EWG report that shows how a provision in the federal crop insurance program provides a strong financial incentive for growers to plant the same crops in the same way, year in and year out, regardless of changing climate conditions. What's worse, this program is focused on the same southern Great Plains counties hit hardest by the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, the worst man-made environmental disaster in American history.The federal crop insurance program guarantees farmers' earnings from their crops won't fall below a percentage of their usual income. The percentage is set based on a multi-year average of a farmer's actual crop yields. Averaging good and bad years grounds the program in reality.But a provision called the Actual Production History Yield Exclusion – snuck into the 2014 Farm Bill during conference negotiations – allows growers to drop bad years from their average crop yield calculations. The government simply pretends these bad years didn't happen. In some cases, more than 15 bad years can be thrown out when calculating the average yield, resulting in artificially inflated insurance payouts.It makes sense for crop insurance to give growers a break if they're occasionally hit by one or two bad years, but keeping growers on a treadmill of failed crops and insurance payouts is foolish. Helping farmers adapt to the new weather conditions would be considerably better, and was exactly what helped growers survive the Dust Bowl and return to productivity.The southern Great Plains are getting hotter and drier. Drought has been common over the last 10 years and forecasts show the number of days above 100 degrees quadrupling by 2050. Implementing conservation practices to adapt to changing climate conditions is vital for growers who want to stay in business.Some, but not enough, growers are already adopting conservation techniques in this region. Savings from ending the misguided yield exclusion policy could be used to help more growers change the way they farm to face the challenges posed by a changing climate.

Improving Student Success at Tribal Colleges and Universities

September 8, 2016

American Indian students have the lowest college graduation rate in the country, at just over 13%. In a new publication from the American Indian College Fund, several tribal colleges and universities share how to create systems and structures to promote Native student success.This publication is the culmination of the College Fund's efforts over three years in the Achieving the Dream (ATD) initiative, a national reform network devoted to community college student success and completion. Two tribal colleges, Diné College in Tsaile, Arizona, and Salish Kootenai College in Pablo, Montana, participated in the initiative. The colleges' participation in the Achieving the Dream program was supported by the Kresge Foundation, which provided tools, resources, and coaching to help the colleges engage in strategies based on data-driven decisions to address and close achievement gaps.The publication will be shared across the 37-institution tribal college community to provide instruction in education best practices amongst Native students to promote similar success. It will also be published on the College Fund's web site at www.collegefund.org.

Enough Already: Meeting 2°C Powder River Basin Coal Demand Without Lifting the Federal Moratorium

July 19, 2016

The Department of the Interior is required to manage public lands, including the coal, oil, and gas they contain, "to benefit Americans now and in the future." Right now, Interior is beginning to look at how to reform elements of its federal coal program. A new report by the Carbon Tracker Initiative has analyzed the coal program in the context of what it means for our climate, and the conclusion is clear: Interior should make the moratorium on new coal leases permanent.The lands Interior manages include our national parks, which are celebrating their centennial, and which exemplify the idea of managing natural resources for the benefit of both current and future generations. When it comes to fossil energy resources, by contrast, Interior's actions have primarily benefited fossil fuel companies. Now the agency has the chance to change course and get it right. It is becoming abundantly clear that going forward, this means keeping fossil fuels in the ground.Protecting Our Climate Is More Important than Subsidizing CoalEarlier this year Interior Secretary Sally Jewell directed the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to conduct a systematic review of its coal leasing program, and put a moratorium on new coal leases in the interim – an important step toward improving the management of our fossil fuel resources. The Department has asked for public comment on what should be included in this review by July 28th.A central feature of the review should be to examine the coal program in the context of the climate goal the United States – and more than 170 other countries – adopted in the Paris Agreement to determine what, if any, level of coal production from public lands is compatible with holding global warming to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels.NextGen Climate America asked Carbon Tracker to rigorously examine this question. The results are in and the answer is clear: If we are serious about limiting global warming to well below 2ºC, no new federal coal leases will be needed as coal ceases to be a major source of electricity in America. In fact, we have already leased more coal than we can afford to burn.The obvious conclusion is that the coal moratorium needs to be made permanent. For existing and past leases, Interior needs to enforce the law requiring mining companies to contemporaneously reclaim disturbed land to functional pre-mining conditions, and charge royalties that reflect the full social cost of extracting and burning coal rather than leaving it in the ground.

An Analysis of Factors that Result in Vote Denial for American Indian Voters Living on Reservations in Montana

February 1, 2016

This paper analyzes the denial of voting rights for Americans Indian living on the Blackfeet, Crow, Fort Belknap, Northern Cheyenne and Rocky Boy's Reservations in Montana.

State Profile Montana: Assets and Opportunity Scorecard

January 25, 2016

The Assets & Opportunity Scorecard is a comprehensive look at Americans' financial security today and their opportunities to create a more prosperous future. It assesses the 50 states and the District of Columbia on 130 outcome and policy measures, which describe how well residents are faring and what states are doing to help them build and protect assets. The Scorecard enables states to benchmark their outcomes and policies against other states in five issue areas: Financial Assets & Income, Businesses & Jobs, Housing & Homeownership, Health Care, and Education.