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Sign up for soil health, income protection program

News from USDA

BOZEMAN — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that agricultural producers in the Prairie Pothole states can now sign up for the Soil Health and Income Protection Program, which provides a short-term option to plant cover on less productive agricultural lands while improving soil health and carbon sequestration. 


Governor signs bill to lower prescription drug costs

News from the office of the Governor

HELENA — Governor Greg Gianforte signed a pro-consumer bill to bring transparency and accountability to pharmacy benefit managers and help reduce the costs of prescription drugs. 

“A lack of transparency into PBMs’ practices has long contributed to the rising costs of prescription drugs,” Gov. Gianforte said. “By increasing oversight of the middlemen in the pharmaceutical supply chain, we’ll bring generic drugs to market faster, increase drug pricing transparency, and promote accountability. I thank Commissioner Downing for spearheading this effort, and Senator Hertz for his work to get this bill to my desk.” 

Sponsored by Senator Greg Hertz (R-Polson), Senate Bill 395 creates the Montana Pharmacy Benefit Manager Oversight Act.

It authorizes the Montana Commissioner of Securities and Insurance, Troy Downing, to regulate PBMs to ensure Montanans are getting the lowest price possible for prescription drugs. 

“Our agency drafted this bill to uphold a promise I made on the campaign trail - to lower prescription drug prices and create more price transparency in the market. Our team sat with stakeholders to hash out a pro-consumer bill that health plans, PBMs, manufacturers and pharmacies could get behind,” Commissioner Downing said.


Daines against waiving COVID-19 vaccine patents

News from the office of Senator Daines

U.S. SENATE  — U.S. Senator Steve Daines is calling on President Biden to protect American innovation and not give away COVID-19 vaccine patents and IP protections to foreign countries that were made possible because of American science and ingenuity. Daines’ request comes after the Biden administration announced its support for waiving IP protections for COVID-19 vaccines earlier this month. 

“Suspending World Trade Organization obligations to protect IP on COVID-19 vaccines would not only fail to significantly speed up vaccine distribution to the rest of the world, but it would set a dangerous precedent on IP protection at the international level and undermine American innovation,” the letter states.

“IP protections are a foundation of American society, so much so, our Founding Fathers enshrined them in the Constitution. U.S. IP laws encourage robust innovation and investment, which is one of the reasons why we are able to be a global leader in vaccines and many other innovative therapies,” the letter continues. 

Daines was instrumental in securing funding for the research, development, manufacturing and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics under Operation Warp Speed.


Additional funds available to businesses

News from Lake County Community Development

RONAN — The SBA is launching a new round of Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advances called the Targeted EIDL Advance and Supplemental Targeted Advance. The Targeted EIDL Advance provides eligible businesses with $10,000 in total grant assistance. If you received the EIDL Advance last year in an amount less than $10,000, you may be eligible to receive the difference up to the full $10,000. The combined amount of the Targeted EIDL Advance and any previously received Advance will not exceed $10,000. The Supplemental Targeted Advance provides the smallest and hardest hit eligible businesses with a supplemental payment of $5,000. Even if you have previously received the original EIDL Advance in the full amount of $10,000, you may be eligible for the Supplemental Targeted Advance if you meet eligibility criteria. 

The combined amount of the Supplemental Targeted Advance ($5,000) with any previously received EIDL Advance or Targeted EIDL Advance ($10,000) will not exceed $15,000. 

For more information and eligibility requirements go to:


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