Patching Revenue Holes
November 15, 2017
The special session, called by the Governor, of the 65th Legislature will begin on Tuesday, November 14th.
Our local papers will be printed after this letter was written.
I trust we will be able to patch the revenue holes to our state budget.
Five things are presently known: 1) Republicans do not want to raise taxes or revenue enhancements as they are being called; 2) Democrats do not want to reduce the bureaucracy of the government; 3) the Governor did not manage the costs of the bureaucracy; 4) Revenue is lower than estimated; 5) cost of the state 2017 fires exceeded cash in the fire account.
The legislature has the responsibility to secure funds for the fire fund and next year’s fire expectations.
The Governor has the legal ability to manage and secure necessary funds for the operations of the bureaucracy.
It is doubtful, but I would hope we can pass measures that 95% of legislators will support and the Governor will sign.
I feel that we must cut the bureaucracy costs. However, we must keep local services to the citizens operational and functionable. To do this, there must be reductions in expenditures. This can be accomplished by reducing expenditures in the “mid-management “sector of the bureaucracy here in Helena. We must make sure that efficiencies are increased or developed which will see that local services are maintained or enhanced.
The challenge is to turn these ideas into cost reductions without a reduction is any local service or dollars.
Mike Lang is a Republican member of the Montana Senate, where he represents District 17, including Malta, Montana.