June 19, 2013 | Volume 100 / Number 25

Thinking Things Over At Brenden Farms

Hello from Brenden Farms. I have waited until all of the voting was finished on the governor’s vetoes and the override attempts to give my report. Unfortunately all of the vetoes were sustained.

Gov. Bullock gave the lame excuse that the legislature handed him all these bills and then went home so he could not have a chance to negotiate with the Legislature. Where was the governor and his hirelings when all the hearings in the Senate and the House taking place?

Hearings on all bills are heard in each chamber and amendments are made there and then voted on by both bodies. And then, if the two bodies do not agree, they go to conference committee, and if passed go to the governor to sign.

This was a lame excuse.

Most of the bills that were vetoed were of much importance to the state of Montana, especially HB 218 and HB 12. HB 218 was the money for counties that are impacted from oil and gas development. These areas need all the help they can get for all their infrastructure needs. This bill would have a fund of about $35 million to help these areas and a stream of money coming every year from mineral taxes.

I was at a meeting in Williston, N.D., and sat next to their governor. The North Dakota Legislature voted for $2.4 billion for the next two years for infrastructure needs and our governor vetoed a paltry $35 million for our needs.

And yet, Montana’s governor signed a bill for $29 million for the School of Technology in Missoula, which many in Missoula did not want, along with some democrat legislators also. Missoula got the gold mine and eastern Montana got the shaft!

HB 12 was another important bill that would have given $6.5 million to nursing homes, assisted living, etc. to help with their rising costs. These funds were in the budget in 2009 and 2011 and former Gov. Schweitzer vetoed these just as our current governor did this past session. Another allocation of dollars went to the conservation districts all over the state and the governor vetoed these projects as well.

These are boots on the ground projects that not only helps agriculture, but everyone. Gov. Bullock then gave the excuse after some of these vetoes, that impacted Eastern Montana areas were receiving some $40 million in other projects. Let me tell you the the bulk of the $40 million was for Dry Rural Prairie and Northcentral water projects that have been ongoing for years and are bonded and paid FOR by these users ONLY! Montana saved $ 10 million by paying this bill off early, and all of the taxpayers will be paying for Missoula projects!

There is enough money to fund these projects as well as many others that were vetoed. Gov. Bullock wanted a $300 million ending fund balance and in all probability Montana will have a $400 million ending fund balance, more than enough dollars to pay for projects that were vetoed.

I hope the voters of Montana remember these vetoes when it come to Bullock’s re-election!

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