The Blackfoot Valley's News Source Since 1980

Articles written by Troy Downing

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  • Op-Ed: Protecting the American Dream

    Troy Downing|Updated Dec 13, 2023

    A question I am often asked is "Why? Why are you running?" The answer is simple: These United States of America, all she represents, and all of the opportunities she offers have been good to me, and I need to give back. I need to serve. I need to feel that I deserve all that she has offered without asking anything in return. I need to know that someone like me, from meager beginnings, an unplanned pregnancy to an unwed teenage mother, someone without money or connections, can...

  • Op-Ed: A Win for Public Land Access, Hunters, and Agriculture

    Troy Downing, Commissioner of Securities and Insurance|Updated Oct 17, 2022

    In 2019, WWII veteran Forrest Allen passed away, bequeathing 5,677 acres in Golden Valley County to the Shodair Children's Hospital. Today, as a member of the Board of Land Commissioners, I was proud to vote in favor of purchasing this land for public use. The purchase, known as the Snowy Mountain Acquisition, is a win for all Montanans and embodies our state's spirit and generosity. Public lands near this property have been nearly inaccessible to most Montanans for years....

  • Op-Ed: Bail or Jail? Montana's Wild West

    Troy Downing, Montana Securities and Insurance Commissioner|Updated Jun 14, 2022

    Montana's Wild West is alive and well as a rogue subset of bounty hunters commit crimes and abuses against defendants on bail, their families and the public. State law gives bondsmen unrestrained arrest powers leading some to employ dangerous tactics that threaten public safety and infringe on defendants' rights. There is a clear need for Montana to create sideboards, rules, and arrest reporting standards to ensure transparency and establish minimal qualifications for...

  • How the No Surprises Act affects the uninsured

    Troy Downing, Commissioner of Securities and Insurance|Updated Jan 13, 2022

    On January 1st of this year, the No Surprises Act (NSA) went into effect protecting individuals with private health insurance from surprise medical bills. In other words, if you are insured from a company that is not Medicare or Medicaid and receive emergency medical care or a scheduled procedure at an in-network facility, then, in most circumstances, you will not be billed at "out of network" rates. This law, signed by President Trump in 2020 and now being implemented under...