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Lawmakers consider cutting Montana economic development funds

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April 11, 2011View for printing

"We need to continue to make investments in job growth and training ... so that as jobs in the new economy emerge, we've got people to do those jobs." Sen. Dave Wanzenried D-Missoula

Former Missoula Area Economic Development Corp. president Dick King has produced a list of still-pending legislative bills that would cut economic development money.

And King is working with economic development associations across the state to lobby against the cuts.


Montana - Cutting investment in job creation efforts? Now is not the time. ... theTime.pdf


HB2, the Republican majority's main budget bill, was approved by a House-Senate conference committee on Thursday night.

Among its pages is $3 million worth of cuts to the Primary Sector Job Workforce Training Grant Program.

HB140 calls for a 50 percent temporary allocation of Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund money to the state's general fund. As amended, it would move close to $6 million to the general fund during the next four years, a move that means less money for grants.

Sen. Dave Wanzenried, D-Missoula, who sits on the Senate Finance and Claims committee, disagreed.

Taking funds from the trust fund is like "robbing Peter to pay Paul," he said.

Using the broad ideology of "we can't afford it" and calling, as Republicans have, for more and more cuts has made it difficult to craft meaningful budget solutions, he said.

"Certainly there's been a lot of mindless thinking and a lot of shortsighted thinking (during the session). Together that's a toxic mix," Wanzenried said.

By JENNA CEDERBERG of the Missoulian

Full Story: ... c03286.html


Full Contact info for Montana Legislators: ... ssionID=105

Contacting Legislators ... slators.asp


Sarah Converse writes:

I have spoken with Ed Buttrey regarding HB 140. He has been talking to other senators about the bill, but has advised me that with a few phone calls he believes that it could be killed on 3rd reading. He said that the biggest issue is that most of them do not know exactly where the money comes from or where the bill originated. It has only passed by two votes on the second reading. If we can contact those that are voting do concur, we may be able to have it killed on the third reading. I am including below information regarding the votes. It has only passed 26 to 24, so this could be accomplished. I just thought that I would let you know the information that I have. There are a few key senators in our specific areas and I will contact those in my area, thanks.

Y Arthun, Ron

N Gallus, Steven

Y Lewis, Dave

N Tropila, Mitch

N Augare, Shannon

N Gillan, Kim

N Moore, Frederick (Eric)

Y Tutvedt, Bruce

Y Balyeat, Joe

N Hamlett, Bradley

Y Moss, Lynda

N Van Dyk, Kendall

N Barrett, Debby

Y Hawks, Bob

Y Mowbray, Carmine

Y Vincent, Chas

N Blewett, Anders

N Hinkle, Greg

Y Murphy, Terry

N Vuckovich, Gene

N Branae, Gary

Y Hutton, Rowlie

N Olson, Alan

N Walker, Edward

N Brenden, John

Y Jackson, Verdell

Y Peterson, Jim

N Wanzenried, David

Y Brown, Taylor

Y Jent, Larry

Y Priest, Jason

Y Williams, Carol

N Buttrey, Edward

Y Jones, Llew

Y Ripley, Rick

N Windy Boy, Jonathan

N Caferro, Mary

N Kaufmann, Christine

N Shockley, Jim

N Wittich, Art

N Erickson, Ron

N Keane, Jim

Y Sonju, Jon

Y Zinke, Ryan

Y Essmann, Jeff

Y Lake, Bob

Y Steinbeisser, Donald

Y Facey, Tom

Y Larsen, Cliff

Y Stewart-Peregoy, Sharon

Reader Comments:

If you need a government hand-out for your business it is because no investor wants to invest in your bad idea. Even if it isn't a bad idea, you don't need government money to start it. Taxing is the power to destroy. People will not work to have all their money taken away. Even now when a couple both work, one will quit when they hit the break even point on taxes. Why have one entire income taken? You would quit and the government has less tax, but you're income remains the same. Less taxes raises revenue because the economy grows, business has the capitol to invest. Hand-outs are death to the economy, just look at it.

This link provides a map of Montana and each legislative district. Click on the district to find your legislators.


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