Shake out millions of dollars in bloated state budget to use for good programs

Print Article

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock called a special session for next week in Helena. He is interested in some cuts and transfers in state government to shore up the shaky budget. Also included, however, will be “temporary revenue increases” i.e. more taxes for working Montanans.

Referring to the tax increases in a recent news article he stated, “In order to do that, though, I need to have a willing dance partner.”

I think the legislators should sit this dance out. He has had ample opportunity to get the budget realigned without a special session and has been doing the tango across the state with groups who are concerned about their budgets.

I think this is the time in the dance card to eliminate more ‘vacancy savings’ and be more creative to not cut funds to help our neediest populations.

Legislative Audit looked into vacancy savings during a performance audit in 2004. At that time the vacancies had doubled in a 12-year period with over a thousand unfilled positions in state government. Three hundred had been vacant for more than a year.

Thirteen years ago it would have amounted to a savings of between $21 and $34 million for the biennium. What would it be now? How many ‘vacant’ positions are there still in state government, allowing agencies to use the money without going through the appropriation process?

It’s time to do the jitter bug and shake out the millions of dollars in bloated budgets in order to allow good programs to continue functioning without cuts.

No matter how you twist the facts, Gov. Bullock’s budget was his making. Now he must shimmy his way into correcting it without the loco-motion of the legislature.

We may have to swim into Helena for one vote to fix the fire funds and make small tweaks to others, but nothing else. Will I go to Helena and vote for tax increases, no matter how “temporary” they are? No way!

The spotlight’s on you, Gov. Bullock. Tax increases are your solution to getting us out of the mess? Time for the “pas seul.” Solo it is with you in the limelight.

Republican Dee Brown of Hungry Horse represents Senate District 2 in the Montana Legislature.

Print Article

Read More

Man pleads not guilty to killing father

July 20, 2018 at 10:51 am | Whitefish Pilot The Whitefish man accused of killing his father in a July 9 dispute pleaded not guilty Thursday afternoon in Flathead County District Court in front of Judge Dan Wilson. Tanner Lehnen Hosek, 26, rem...

Comments

Read More

Fire danger moves to high in Flathead

July 20, 2018 at 11:15 am | Whitefish Pilot Interagency Wildland Fire Managers have made the decision to raise the fire danger for the Flathead to “high.” Several factors played into the decision, according to a release from the Montana Depar...

Comments

Read More

Young musicians get chance to tune up with the masters

July 19, 2018 at 1:36 pm | Whitefish Pilot Camp Festival Amadeus will once again nurture the musical education of young musicians in the Flathead Valley next month. The camp, established in 2008 by Artistic Director Jenanne Solberg, will be...

Comments

Read More

Creating music driving force for band as it releases album

July 18, 2018 at 1:23 pm | Whitefish Pilot In a few weeks their first CD will be out, their album is already downloadable and later this month they’ll be the opening act for the Montana Music Event in Whitefish. Gimmic was formed roughly a ...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(406) 862-3505
312 E. Second Street
Whitefish, MT 59937

©2018 Whitefish Pilot Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X