A recent poll published in The Billings Gazette shows that a majority of Montanans strongly disapprove of the Legislature's doings in Helena. Count me in that number. The Republican majorities in both houses are hell-bent on a path that will lead to job loss and significant harm to Montanans, not to mention the fact that some of the unconstitutional bills they have enacted have made us the laughingstock of the nation.
The federal deficit must be an absolute priority for our country. But Montana does not have a deficit. Montana is one of only two states without a budget deficit. Under Gov. Brian Schweitzer's fiscally responsible leadership, Montana has stayed in the black and put savings in the ban.
The Republican slash-and-burn tactics would cut food stamps, personal care for the disabled, health and human services, family planning, corrections, nursing home subsidies, the Montana University System, tobacco cessation programs and prescription drugs for Medicare recipients. State employees, whose salaries have been frozen since 2008, would have their salaries frozen for two more years. Montana is the only state in the Union to reject $35 million federal funding to update health records. How many jobs will be created — or lost — with this GOP budget?
Ninety-five percent of our legislators accepted taxpayer-supported health care for themselves, leaving the rest of us to go fish for health insurance.
I hope Schweitzer has his veto branding iron red-hot to put a stop to this foolishness.
Jane Van Dyk