HELENA — The Senate budgeting committee rejected federal family-planning money on Friday, although Republican opponents recognized they may not ultimately win the fight over the money.

Democrats tried Friday to restore the Title X money that was axed by conservatives in the House who are opposed to Planned Parenthood. The motion failed 12-8, mostly along party lines.

Supporters said the federal money is barred from being used for abortion. They argued it is needed for preventative care at Planned Parenthood and other clinics, along with birth control assistance for low-income women.

Sen. Dave Wanzenried of Missoula argued that cutting the money will lead to more unwanted pregnancies that lead to increased Medicaid and other costs.

"This is an important policy decision we need to make regarding women's reproductive health," Wanzenried said.

Republicans on the panel offered no comment before rejecting the motion. In the past, they have argued that they don't support federal money going to an organization they oppose.

Senate Finance Committee chairman Rick Ripley said he opposed the money because too many of his constituents believe the funding can go to abortion. But he said he suspects the fight over the money will end the same way it has in the past, with the governor intervening to restore the funding.

Ripley said that the governor can use his veto pen to strike the amendment to cut the money. Gov. Steve Bullock has been supportive of the funding, included it in his original budget and has criticized the GOP for cutting it.

The committee also made an across-the-board budget cut by requiring most agencies to leave 2 percent of their jobs vacant. Ripley said it would save $21 million as Republicans look for ways to trim spending as competing priorities threaten to eat up the projected surplus exceeding $400 million.

"It is a long way from where we need to end up, but it is a start," Ripley said.

Department of Public Health and Human Services director Richard Opper had tried to convince the panel to restore 13 child welfare jobs. He said the forced vacancies will make things very difficult for his agency.

More from billingsgazette.com

(19) comments

Jus Wundrin
Jus Wundrin

Good!

If the arrogant wanzenried is so concerned, why didnt he draft and amendment keeping the $$$ from going to the 5 planned whateverhood "clinics", or demand that PP curtail its eugenics program?

But then he, like most progressives, think that us little people are incapable of making our own decisions about our personal lives.

Regular Guy

You can't make any health care decisions for yourself if you don't have access to health care or are afraid you'll go bankrupt if you seek health care. Planned Parenthood provides vital health care for thousands of women and, yes, in some cases, abortions (the latter are not paid for by tax dollars though I would gladly pay more taxes to fund abortions). Even if you're so heartless and invasive that you don't want to butt out of decisions best left to a woman and her health care provider, you should take heart in the fact that unplanned pregnancies can end up being a huge burden not only to the woman (who may have gotten pregnant through rape or incest) but also to society.

CarsonCityKid

To hell with the repuglicans. I pay income taxes in Montana and I do not want my tax dollars spent on salaries and healthcare for these bums either but I still pay.

sarah lynn
sarah lynn

Well put

uknowit
uknowit

No affordable birth control leads to what? More babies! More Medicaid, food stamps, rental assistance, LIEAP, etc.....all those things that set Republican's hair on fire.

Concerned

Remember, all you have to do is say no.

fountain of smart

yep, and cross your legs :)

skeptical juanita

What part of this do the legislators not understand? From a Gazette opinion "Legislators who want to prevent abortions can be for family planning because it prevents unwanted pregnancies that may end in abortion. Legislators who want to avoid increased Medicaid costs ought to be in favor of access to family planning. All Montana lawmakers should support family planning clinics because they help thousands of Montanans take care of their health and empower them to make good decisions for their families."

sarah lynn
sarah lynn

Yes. What were they thinking?

gramagrass

Didn't we read that the GOP House already had more money bills proposed than money?

Jobs and the economy?

starting with dubya the GOP has made a point of managing government budgets just like families must handle their own budgets or like a CEO; Here's their blueprint:

Faced with a money hardship the first step is to reduce income; The next step is to add money to things that entertain you.

Jamey

Well of course they did; they are republicans. What do you expect?

tired-dog

Geographically Montana is almost in Canada, but politically I swear we should just raise the good old Confederate States of America flag. The Montana Gop is a long line of one bubba after another.

Eastern Montana vet

Proud of the Republicans that stopped this keep up the good work glad I voted for you.

sagebush

Good Job legislators, If anyone wants to fund Title X programs, then let them do it through their "personal" donations not "Force" non-supporters to contribute.

yellowstoned

This is simply another example, along with expanding medicare, of the Republicans' (Tea Party) contempt for those less fortunate among us. So much for Christian values.

2012

Good, if they want abortions, pay for it your self. If you want pills, pay for them yourself. You want me to pay for your birth control pills so you can buy ciggys, beer and dope to smoke. No thanks, buy your own damn birth control pills. Then you say its for mammograms. No, you're lying, planned parenthood doesn't do mammograms. I want a choice too. That choice would be to pay less taxes. That could be accomplished if you'd take responsibility for yourself. You can by the latest cell phone and the service and you can't buy a condom or a pill. If only you gimme pigs were as smart as your phone.. Regular guy-- "you can't make healthcare decisions if you don't have access" Healthcare costs could be reduced over 70% if people made better choices- yes they can make healthcare choices without having me pay for their birth control.What a stupid thing to say.

skeptical juanita

What part of this do the legislators not understand? From a Gazette opinion "Legislators who want to prevent abortions can be for family planning because it prevents unwanted pregnancies that may end in abortion. Legislators who want to avoid increased Medicaid costs ought to be in favor of access to family planning. All Montana lawmakers should support family planning clinics because they help thousands of Montanans take care of their health and empower them to make good decisions for their families."

MTnman

Wanzenreid, Opper and similar others always seem to have their hand in the "cookie jar," stealing more of Joe 6-Pack's hard-earned income with every opportunity. They are "government men" and always will be.

These individuals like to remind us, in good Marxist fashion, that people are more important than profits, especially their "people," except when it comes to satisfying their own ideological preferences when all must be robbed.

Understanding the source (government) of funds (fiat) for their inept policies does not concern them because they do not think the average person will recognize the hyperinflation (government's best friend) of everything as the means to accomplish their wrongheadedness. Their smarmy contempt for the people's right to know the truth typifies their attitude toward us - contemptuous.

They are blinded by their own corruption, blaming others to divert attention from themselves who are the real cause of many problems, social and economic.

MTnman

Leftists know that murdering future generations will destroy America, socially, economically and politically. They must replace our intended form of government with Marxist/socialist policies. Destroying life of the unborn is a part of that plan; dilute the pool of available individuals necessary to provide future needs of a successful functioning society.

Permit & Background Check Required For Guns, But Not To Kill Your Baby

Yet, we’re supposed to be perfectly fine with the government imposing background checks, age limits, ammo limits, permits, gun/magazine registration, etc. all to protect human life. To protect the children.

Who will plow the fields, if not the children?

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.