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The Governor underestimated Republicans

The special session started in Helena Monday, Nov. 13 with pre-session committee. Then we continued on Tuesday when we went into official session at 11 a.m. going till after 1 a.m. Wednesday morning. We were back at 8 a.m. Wednesday and finished at about 2 a.m. Thursday. In three calendar days Republicans did what it would normally take eight legislative days to complete. We were able to expedite the session because Republicans are in the majority and we controlled the schedule focusing on balancing Montana’s budget and shortening the session to save Montanans money.
Sadly your tax dollars did not need to pay for a special session that the Governor called. We anticipated the dropping revenue and had given the Governor all the tools he needed to balance the budget when we left Helena in May. He refused to make the hard choices. Therefore, his strategy was to suddenly start a special session and pressure Republicans into raising taxes to fix the anticipated declining revenue. I along with every Republican was committed not to let this happen. He drastically underestimated the resolve of Republican Senators and Representatives to say nothing of our excellent leadership.
In fact Republicans had been planning a special session anticipating the Governor’s surprise move. Therefore, we remained strong, united and succeeded in making the hard choices our Governor was elected to do but failed to do.

The Republican majority gave the governor 230 million to back fill the Fire Fund and fix all the other budget problems. He now has the easy job of using the tools we gave him and Montana’s money to run the government until June after the legislature reconvenes in 2019.
The cold, hard truth about Montana’s financial state is simply unregulated growth over the past 6 years. We now have a 10 billion dollar budget, of which more than 50 percent comes from the federal government that is $20 trillion in debt. Also, Montana is more than $4 billion in debt. Many of you say to me when I tell you this, “but I thought we had a balanced budget”? No, it is only balanced because the state defines a balanced budget as some money in reserve, and able to pay the state’s costs over the next two years, including our debt payment and interest. This is certainly not my definition of balance. Therefore, we do not have a revenue problem; we have a spending problem caused by a bloated state government that has too much debt. What we lack in Helena is good management from our Democrat Governor who is in control every day of the year.
It is a great honor to have served you over the past years, and I will run for reelection next January. I will continue to stand for smaller government, less taxes, and more liberty for all Montanans.

May God Bless America,
Sen. David Howard,
District 29

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    The Fromberg Improvement Committee presents the Annual Pre-Easter Bake Sale, April 20 from 9 a.m. till gone, Front and Center at Leather Legends. Homemade pies from lemon meringue coconut cream banana cream sour cream raisin and more! Delectable cakes; pink champagne cake, chocolate cake, angel food cake, lemon chiffon cake w/lemon curd! Fromberg famous caramel rolls, fresh scones. Special orders (406) 668-7773.
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    Paintbrush Piecers Quilt Guild meeting will be Monday April 22 at 6 p.m. at the Cody Sr. Center. After a short business meeting the program will be a trunk show presented by Betty Hecker, Audrey Clark and Sharon Kaeding from Red Lodge. Meetings are free and guests are welcome. For information contact Marybeth 754-5399
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    Clarks Fork Group meets at St. Joseph’s Catholic Hall, north end of Montana Avenue, Thursday at 7 p.m.

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