3 November 2017 — 0635 mdt
A Montana budget deal will be an abomination, not a miracle
There are reports that Gov. Bullock and some Republican leaders are closing in on a deal to temporarily raise a tax or two to pay for fighting forest fires, and to allow funds to be transferred from Peter to pay Paul. Once a deal has been cut, at least in principle, Bullock will call a special session to ratify the agreement. An agreement must be reached sooner than later because the state is rapidly burning through its cash, and big payments are coming due.
At this point, there’s a lot of posturing, maneuvering, and low and high dealing. Nothing is settled until everything is settled. Except for the negotiators, no one knows all or most of the details. But all of us know this is no way to run a government — and that whatever agreement is reached will stink like a startled skunk no matter how much perfume the politicians spray as they attempt to spin it as a sweet deal.