Archive for February 17th, 2011

by jhwygirl

I’ve ranted to a seemingly uninformed audience in support of Governor Schweitzer’s bill to change the way certain oil & gas revenues are distributed.

I’ve called it unfair. I’ve decried the conservatives lambasting of the proposal as further evidence of their hypocrisy towards government subsidies. I’ve complained about how it it shows an abandonment of the free market – and example of how this so-called great profitable high-paying and tons-of-jobs industry doesn’t truly support the communities from where it extracts it’s resources.

Because if there are all of these high-paying jobs, shouldn’t those high-paid employees be paying taxes that support the social infrastructure of the community?

Lee reporter Mike Dennison has a great article on the issue which includes a paragraph better summing up the message I may have failed to convey.

A handful of school districts – primarily in far eastern Montana – get millions of dollars in oil-and-gas revenue, have large financial reserves and levy zero or very few local property tax mills to support their schools.

What that oil & gas fund has done is bought the pockets of a whole bunch of legislators out east and a whole bunch of voters that don’t have to pay taxes to support their schools.

Imagine the perspective you might have if you in Missoula or in the Flathead or up in Lewis & Clark county didn’t have to pay taxes to support your schools?

Imagine the political perspective in the counties listed here if those citizens there actually had to pay “market” taxes for schools?

I’ve said a bunch of times and I’ll say it again – the mineral estate is the property of the citizens of Montana. If the state is taxing it, it belongs to everyone. It is not the property of a handful of counties with less than half of the state’s population so that they can have lower taxes and so they don’t have to support their schools.

HB136 was killed Wednesday in House Education.

It’s disgusting. It’s unfair. It’s wrong.

Governor Brian Schweitzer was correct.

On this one.

by jhwygirl

Updated below.

So Governor Brian Schweitzer is a fan of nullification.

Why am I not surprised?

How is a progressive blogger like me supposed to criticize unconstitutional GOP-proposed legislation when the highest elected official – a Democrat at that – is out there espousing to national media that he’ll ignore federal law and shoot wolves?

Triangulation at its best.

~~~~~
Newly elected Wyoming Governor Matthew Mead, a Republican, disagrees with Gov. Schweitzer:

“I think you have to be cautious about telling people to go break federal law,” said Mead, a former chief federal prosecutor for Wyoming.

Mead’s a good guy. If I had lived in Wyoming this last election, he’da had my vote.

by jhwygirl

2nd Grade Bike Rack has an interesting post.

HB198 has bi-partisan support both among the proposers and the the votes that moved it out of the House.

Shame. Shame. Shame. Shame. Shame.

by jhwygirl

Updated below.

I’m telling you Anderson Cooper, Chris Matthews, Lawrence O’Donnell and Rachel Maddow – there’s a wealth of material here in the Montana legislature for you. This one is just one example of scores of lunacy.

HB549, from newly-elected Rep. Joe Read of Ronan was heard today in the House Natural Resources committee. Testimony was interesting, to say the least will be heard tomorrow in the House Natural Resources committee. Committee member Rep. Mike Miller has corrected me on this one (Thanks Mike!)…and I’ll update this post in a few days with a link.

Let’s just let the legislation speak for itself:

global warming is beneficial to the welfare and business climate of Montana

What does one scientist have to say? Read it here.

Let’s just say that Read must hate the glaciers up in Glacier National Park (no money or jobs in tourism, right?) and he must love the bark beetle infestation sweeping western Montana.

But hey – all’s good, right?




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