True To Form

To the Editor,
In regards to recent articles covering the Montana budget shortfall.
On short notice, Governor Bullock called a special session of the legislature to address the issue, giving legislators little time to prepare.   The Governor’s plan called for a needed 10% reduction in spending by State agencies, but instead of cutting administration and bureaucracy the Governor implemented cuts to social services, giving us a look at his priorities.
Bullock also called for tax increases, the usual response to overspending by the Democrats. The Republican majority was able to limit cuts in essential services without tax increases and the result is good news for Montana Taxpayers.
The question to ask is, how did we get into this situation?  The Governor is responsible for managing state expenditures and submitting a balanced budget. What Montana needs is increased revenue and/or restored revenue through development of our natural resources, not Bullock’s tax increases.  We had a thriving coal industry which has been curtailed by Barack Obama’s “Clean Power Plan”, garnering enthusiastic support from Governor Bullock and Senator Jon Tester.  The basics of the plan shifts production of inexpensive energy to expensive energy, for solving the non-existent problem of man caused global warming.  According to a University of Montana study the State produces about 37% of its inexpensive electricity at Colstrip. The Obama plan, championed by Bullock and Tester, will cost Montana over $500 Million in household income annually, and that’s just for Colstrip. At a time of increasing energy demand we have lost the coal fired generation facility in Billings, Colstrip 1 & 2 and will lose additional generation facilities throughout the state.  The UM study estimates that compliance with the Clean Power Plan will cost 145 Million Dollars in state and local tax and nontax revenue by 2025.  Remember that the budget shortfall is 227 Million, due to overspending and declining revenue.  Fortunately, President Trump has ordered a review of the disastrous Clean Air Act.
A major spending item in 2017 was wild fire suppression which, according to Billings Gazette figures, is 52.7 Million Dollars. The Northern Rockies Coordination Center estimates the total cost of the 2017 fire season at 308 million dollars. Due to environmental regulations, supported by Bullock, Tester and Barak Obama, a once thriving timber industry is closing down. The results are lack of jobs, State Revenue and sound forest management. Clear cuts and control burns have been replaced by costly, out of control wildfires. During a recent meeting of the Montana Revenue and Transportation Interim Committee Bullock’s budget director, Steve Villa, said “Timber Mills Paid taxes, hospitals do not”.
In 2018 we can get Montana back on its feet by replacing Senator Jon Tester.  Governor Bullock can’t be replaced until 2020 without a recall. My thanks to Representative Seth Berglee and Senator David Howard for a job well done.  Let’s help them out in 2018 and 2020 by electing a U.S. Senator and State Governor who will put Montana First.

Edwin Halland


Upcoming Events

  • Monday, July 22, 2019 - 7:00pm
    Joliet Group meets at the Community Center Monday at 7 p.m.
  • Tuesday, July 23, 2019 - 7:00pm
    Now Group meets at the Bridger United Methodist Church, 222 W. Broadway (west entrance of church) Tuesday at 7 p.m.
  • Thursday, July 25, 2019 - 7:00pm
    Meets every Thursday, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the Red Lodge Area Community Foundation, 122 S. Hauser. It is open to all. 425- 1755.
  • Thursday, July 25, 2019 - 7:00pm
    Clarks Fork Group meets at St. Joseph’s Catholic Hall, north end of Montana Avenue, Thursday at 7 p.m.
  • Friday, July 26, 2019 - 7:00pm
    Rock Creek Group meets Tuesdays and Saturdays at 8 a.m. and Wednesdays and Fridays at 7 p.m. at Calvary Church, 9 N Villard, Red Lodge.
  • Monday, July 29, 2019 - 7:00pm
    Joliet Group meets at the Community Center Monday at 7 p.m.

The Carbon County News

Street Address:

11 N. Broadway, Red Lodge, MT 59068

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 970, Red Lodge, MT 59068

Phone: 406-446-2222

Fax: 406-446-2225

Toll-Free: 800-735-8843

Open: Monday-Friday, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.