Tribal Sovereignty During COVID-19

Tribal nations are showcasing leadership during COVID-19 by prioritizing the safety and health of vulnerable populations, tribal citizens, and non-citizens. To fight the spread of COVID-19, many tribal nations have exercised their sovereign right to regulate the movement of peoples on their lands. This includes opening travel check points and shelter-in-place orders.

Despite Montana’s decisions to enter phase two of reopening, some tribal nations have extended stay-at-home orders and continued to implement travel checkpoints to protect their citizens and non-citizen travelers.

Children are going hungry with school closures. Montana can help.

Montana can help thousands of low-income students get enough to eat during school closures, but it must act swiftly.   

A new program established through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Coronavirus Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT), allows states to provide assistance to families with children who would otherwise be receiving free or reduced-price school breakfasts and lunches if schools were in session.

The Power to Tax in Indian Country

Even though the novel coronavirus pandemic has pushed back Tax Day this year from April 15 to July 15, MBPC wanted to honor April 15, the day we all recognize as Tax Day under normal circumstances, by discussing taxation authority in Indian Country.

Every government relies on tax revenues to fund the essential programs, services, and functions that benefit us all. The power to tax is an inherent right of self-government and is one of many rights retained by tribal nations.

CARES Act: Frequently Asked Questions About Recovery Rebates

On March 27, 2020, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) a $2.2 trillion package that includes direct financial assistance to many families, unemployment support, necessary resources to address impending fiscal cliffs faced by state and local governments, and more.

The CARES Act and Unemployment Insurance: Who Is Eligible?

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides important expansions to the Unemployment Insurance (UI) program to help relieve some of the economic decline caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Unemployment has risen at an unprecedented rate. Nationwide, over the past two weeks, nearly 10 million people applied for UI.

Food Access: Changes to SNAP, WIC, and Child Nutrition During COVID-19

In times of crisis and uncertainty, Montanans come together to take care of each other. In the last two weeks, record numbers of people have lost their jobs and are at risk of hunger.

In order to address this potential crisis, Montana, the federal government, and local communities have taken great strides to help ensure no one goes hungry during this pandemic.

State Action on Evictions, Foreclosures, and Utilities

This week, Governor Bullock issued an executive order to place a moratorium on evictions in light of COVID-19. We included this recommendation in our report released earlier this week, and it is a step that many other housing advocates are calling for. With thousands of workers facing reduced hours or layoff, families are grappling with how to cover basic necessities, like food, utilities, and housing costs.