Archive for March 22nd, 2009

by jhwygirl

This is a high-alert action needed now post, people.

Now, I got nothing against funding education – K-12, higher education – I’m all for it. But when it comes to limited funds and a shitty economy, I’m going to say that maintaining the services for those that need it the most – those that can’t survive without those services is more important than increasing funding for Montana’s university systems.

Tomorrow – Monday – House Appropriations will be taking up discussion on HB645 in an effort to garner enough votes for a deal which has apparently been struck between Democratic Representatives John Sesso (of Butte) and Dan Villa (of Anaconda) and Republican Representatives Walter McNutt (of Sydney) and William Glaser (of Huntley).

Sesso is chair of House Appropriations – McNutt is vice-chair.

A deal that would increase university funding by $9 million and further underfund an already cut and somewhat underfunded Medicaid and social services system.

And think about this – once that extra $9 million goes out and the cuts are made to social services, more pressure will rise for the Republican’s continued attack on not funding the Healthy Montana Kids Initiative.

Beyond that, with a shitty economy the state’s local city and county health departments along with non-profits pick up the slack of an already somewhat underfunded Public Health & Human Services department. These agencies are already suffering because of decreasing donations from the private sector and decreasing tax revenues, resulting in budget cuts at local levels too. How – HOW? – will the most needy of our society – the aging, the disabled, the poor – get the access they need to the most basic of services?

Governor Schweitzer has pushed for a tuition freeze, promising the Board of Regents $10 million of stimulus money providing the freeze is put in place. The Board of Regents, on the other hand, continues to push for an additional $8.2 million, saying that it can’t freeze tuition and make due with its $1 billion biennium budget.

The Governor has proposed across-the-board cuts for all departments. The university system’s cut, proposed by the Governor, is $5.6 million. Now, maybe my math is wrong – but a $5.6 million biennium cut to a $1 billion biennium budget is barely over 1/2 of 1%.

Are you kidding me?!

Schweitzer had strong words for Board of Regents, university administrators and student leaders who met with him on Friday in Helena.

Meanwhile, university student leaders from UM and MSU are apparently drinking the kool-aid too – we want what we want and we just want it so give it to us.

And UM President George Dennison has apparently taken a liking to socialism, saying that “it’s unfair to compare the university system to the private sector.”

Really? That .56% cut in your budget hurt that much?

I’m ashamed of this. I’m ashamed that there are Democrats out there kow-towing to the Board of Regents at the expense of social services. Do they realize they are feeding the drumbeat calling to eliminate funding for Healthy Montana Kids?

Everybody – Everybody – is making cuts. The Board of Regents, I dare say, should just have to make due with $10 million in stimulus money – strings attached – and a tuition freeze and its .56% cut to its budget. Deal.

Time for emailing, folks…that House Appropriations meeting is scheduled for 8 a.m. tomorrow (Monday). Here is a list of the committee members, and following is their email addresses which you can just cut-and-paste.

Jon Sesso (D) (Chair)
Cynthia Hiner (D) (Vice Chair)
Walter McNutt (R) (Vice Chair)
Duane Ankney (R)
Dennis Getz (D)
William Glaser (R)
Ray Hawk (R)
Teresa Henry (D)
Roy Hollandsworth (R)
Galen Hollenbaugh (D)
Llew Jones (R)
Dave Kasten (R)
Bill McChesney (D)
Robert Mehlhoff (D)
Penny Morgan (R)
Bill Nooney (R)
Carolyn Pease-Lopez (D)
Don Roberts (R)
Cheryl Steenson (D)
Dan Villa (D);;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

Rep. Dave Kasten, Rep. Carolyn Pease-Lopez, and Rep. Don Roberts have no email listed – you can reach them by calling the Session Information Desk at 406-444-4800 to leaving a message for them.

You can also call that number and leave a message for the entire House Appropriations committee. Your message will be delivered directly to the legislators. The TTY (Telephone Device for the Deaf) number is 406-444-4462.

Tell these legislators that the university system needs to live withing the budgetary means of the State and this poor economy – that a .56% cut to their budget, with $10 in stimulus funding, and a tuition freeze is something they need to learn to live with – and that cost-savings through attrition and – dare I suggest – some cuts to things like the well-funding athletics departments – could and should be implemented for the next 2 years.

by jhwygirl

AP has the story, 6 minutes ago.

CNN is reporting 7 17 14 confirmed dead.

(Some more updates on this tragedy here and here. PT)

by jhwygirl

65 committee meetings scheduled for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

Argh. Looks like something is FUBAR (for a Sunday) – can’t read the bills.

The network path was not found.

Of note, I guess, based on previous posts, I see SB236, which is from Sen. David Wanzenried has its House committee hearing on Wednesday. This is the bill that would abolish Montana’s death penalty. It’s passed the Senate on a 27-23 vote. Help give this one the help that it needs to get it out of committee and onto the House floor. In House Judiciary – Jennifer Eck the secretary –

SB360, from Sen. Jim Kean, of Butte, has its second round of hearings on Wednesday, too. This one made my list of bad environmental legislation. It exempts 10 miles or up to 10% of new right-of-way from the major facility siting act. It also defines sensitive areas as “government recognized” only, which really exempts out a bunch of federally- owned lands. Automatically exempting new ROW on the premise that what is there is already there is piss-poor. What if conditions have changed? Won’t matter – it’s exempt – no need to look. Ugh. In House Natural Resources – Shirley Chovanak the secretary – Don’t wait until some enlargement of a major facility like the Yellowstone Pipeline – which runs right here through Missoula, folks – is proposed…because then it’ll be too late.

Well, that’s all I got.


  • Pages

  • Recent Comments

    Miles on A New Shelter for Vets or an E…
    success rate for In… on Thirty years ago ARCO killed A…
    Warrior for the Lord on The Dark Side of Colorado
    Linda Kelley-Miller on The Dark Side of Colorado
    Dan on A New Shelter for Vets or an E…
    Former Prosecutor Se… on Former Chief Deputy County Att…
    JediPeaceFrog on Montana AG Tim Fox and US Rep.…
  • Recent Posts

  • Blog Stats

    • 1,689,891 hits
  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 2,734 other followers

  • March 2009
    S M T W T F S
  • Categories