World & National News – July 26, 2017

Spieth captures Claret jug

Texan Jordan Spieth became the youngest American to win the British Open when he shot a 69 to finish at 12 under par for the tournament. Spieth started the final day with four bogies in the first nine holes, but then shot three birdies and an eagle on the next four to recapture the lead and claim victory.


Simpson granted parole

O.J. Simpson was granted parole by a Nevada parole board Thursday, July 20. Simpson has been scheduled to be released in October.


Spicer leaves Trump administration

White House press secretary Sean Spicer resigned from his position Friday, July 21, following the president’s appointment of Anthony Scaramucci as White House communications director.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the recently appointed deputy press secretary, will step into Spicer’s role.

Tester pushes veterans education bill

Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Ranking Member Jon Tester last week introduced bipartisan legislation to modernize and strengthen education benefits for Montana veterans and servicemembers.

Tester’s bill will get rid of the arbitrary 15-year window for veterans to use their G.I. Bill education benefits. It also extends benefits to certain Reservists who deploy and to survivors of men and women who died in the line of duty.

“The G.I. Bill has provided generations of Montana veterans with access to higher education after they have bravely served our country,” said Tester. “It’s a no brainer to continue investing in the men and women who have served, and I’m proud to introduce bipartisan legislation that will break down barriers to and strengthen education benefits for servicemembers, Guardsmen and Reservists.”

Tester’s Harry W. Colmery Veterans Education Assistance Act makes responsible investments in student veterans who are pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) fields, as well as technical and vocational careers.

Last year, there were 2,030 G.I. Bill beneficiaries in Montana.


Daines pushes energy and water development bill

U.S. Senator Steve Daines today worked to improve the future of Montana energy and water development.

This afternoon, the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations passed the bipartisan FY2018 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act.

“We need to provide the necessary tools to restore American energy dominance and keep our communities strong,” Daines stated. “I’m thrilled to secure important resources that deliver reliable water to Montanans.”

During the mark-up the committee unanimously adopted Daines’ amendment to ensure farmers can use their water rights to grow industrial hemp in states where industrial hemp cultivation is allowed. The Bureau of Reclamation has a policy banning the use of federally controlled water for growing controlled substances, including industrial hemp. However, the 2014 Farm Bill allowed state departments of agriculture to license farmers to grow industrial hemp. This difference creates uncertainty for farmers across the West who are growing, or wish to grow, industrial hemp using water from federal projects. Limiting the implementation of the pilot program stifles new business opportunities for farmers and slows the growth of industrial hemp products.