A reality based independent journal of observation & analysis, serving the Flathead Valley & Montana since 2006. © James Conner.

31 August 2017 — 2154 mdt

Montana’s leaders must call a special legislative session
to raise firefighting money and repeal automatic budget cuts

Montana’s firefighting fund is empty, thanks to (a) more forest fires than anticipated, and (b) an irresponsible raid on the fund to plug budget holes. Now, reports the Missoulian, Montana budget director Dan Villa says money to fight the fires will be transferred from other accounts. Translation: money will be taken from programs to help the people who need them most, but who have the least power to fight for them; from the old, the sick, and the poor.

For a blow-by-blow description of how Republicans and Democrats alike abdicated their responsibilities, see Logicosity.

Montana’s governor and legislators must face reality and convene a special session of the legislature to (a) raise taxes, (b) unanimously apologize for passing SB-261, the Automatic Budget Meat Axe Act of 2017, and (c) repeal SB-261, a bill Gov. Bullock should have vetoed.

At The Montana Post, Pete Talbot doubts our leaders will have the wisdom and courage to call a special session and raise taxes. I share his doubt, but I’m going to continue to remind our leaders who are government averse and tax phobic, and the voters who put them in office, that failing to act in a society’s enlightened self-interest violates the social contract and weakens that society’s ability to prosper and endure. Civic suicide is not the answer to our problems.