DOWN

Fewer students. Montana University System enrollment state dropped 0.8 percent with the largest decrease at the University of Montana, which reported enrolling 11,738 students, down 470 from last fall. Montana State University is up 226 students, to 13,599, while Montana State University Billings reported no change in numbers at 4,153 students.

UP

Montana jobs. Montana job growth slowed slightly in August with 500 jobs added, but year-to-date the state has added 12,000 new jobs and 6,000 people to the workforce, according to the Montana Department of Labor and Industry.

UP

East Rosebud protection. U.S. Rep. Steve Daines, R-Mont., introduced legislation to designate 13 miles of the East Rosebud River for protection as wild and scenic and to designate the 7-mile stretch between East Rosebud Lake and the Forest Service boundary as a “recreational river.” U.S. Sen. John Walsh, D-Mont., previously introduced legislation to protect the entire 20 miles of the river on federal land as wild and scenic, except for East Rosebud Lake.

UP

Vans for veterans. Legislation that would reauthorize a program to enhance veterans’ transportation services to Veterans Affairs clinics and hospitals is on the president’s desk after clearing the Senate last week. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., authored the original legislation in 2009 because rural veterans especially lacked reliable transportation to distant VA facilities.

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Opinion Editor

Opinion editor for The Billings Gazette.