The 65th Montana Legislature just started. We are all aboard a ship without a captain in the middle of an ugly storm. Republicans left Gov. Steve Bullock with a balanced budget and $500 million to spare in 2013 and $300 million in 2015, so we expected to come into calmer waters. Instead, Gov. Bullock seems to have either intentionally mismanaged Montanans’ hard-earned money by spending all our savings, pretended nothing was wrong or he is unaware of the problem. This begs the question; how did we get here?
If a middle-class family saw that they had more expenses than money coming in, they would cut back on spending, limit expenses and probably try to get another job. That is where we are, the state simply has more expenses than revenue coming in. Instead of taking the approach a family would, Governor Bullock is proposing going into debt further, raising taxes on small businesses, and robbing money from other essential programs.
Instead of re-building our roads, hiring police officers and proposing pro-growth policies the governor wants to renovate the governor’s mansion, install solar panels on government buildings and spend $27 million on a new museum. To add insult to injury, this smoke and mirrors approach will kill jobs in the private sector forcing our children to leave Montana to look for work elsewhere while leaving our farmers, ranchers, coal miners and loggers to drown.
Instead of abandoning the ship, Senate Republicans are leading with forward positive solutions and crafting innovative public policy, to put our state back on a course that works for all Montanans. For too long government has shackled small businesses and entrepreneurs by implementing job-killing regulations that are preventing them from innovation, investment and growth.
Senate Republicans have a simple two-step action plan which will be implemented to return our state to fiscal sanity. 1. Make the tough decisions the governor refuses to make and right size government through a fair and balanced budget; 2. Eliminate job killing regulations and replace them with pro-growth policies that unleash the power of the private sector so that Montana can once again grow and retain jobs.
With a Republican led Legislature back in Helena to hold the executive office accountable, we are focused on steering our state on a safe, sound course, and getting the job done that Montanans entrusted us to do. The national and state elections sent a very clear signal, it is time to make America and Montana Great Again.