Tuesday, March 15, 2011

House Passes Lean Budget

The following is an editorial we just received from Representative Wendy Warburton.  Thanks for keeping us updated Ms Warburton

This week the Montana House passed our budget bill, House Bill 2. This forms
the basis for Montana's budget for the next two years. Passing a balanced
budget is the one constitutional duty of the Legislature, and one that I take seriously.

The initial budget, proposed by the Governor before the legislative session, was not balanced. It would have spent more money than nonpartisan projections say that our state will take in. Growing government and raiding our savings account is not responsible, particularly when our economy is still not robust. State government needs to tighten its belt, just like Montana families.

Unfortunately, passing a lean, balanced budget out of the House has been a battle. House Democrats tried to increase government spending during the House floor budget debates through proposed amendments of more than $200,000,000 in additional spending. (That's an astonishing amount when you consider the fact that Montana has less than one million residents!) House Republicans fought off that additional spending. I want to emphasize that is not an easy thing to do. It's hard to say "no" to programs that sound very good and do good things, but I felt strongly committed to not raising taxes on Montana families to balance a budget that has grow significantly in very recent years -- while Montanans' income has not.

I voted for amendments that would have further reduced government spending by $122,716,859. As a whole, Republicans managed to find and pass $33 million in additional savings during floor debate. In the end, the budget that passed the House is more than $136 million below the Governor's proposal and six percent less than the one which passed in 2009.

Don't get me wrong - I support spending that is necessary to efficiently run our state and to build JOBS. With great bipartisan support from our local delegation, I carried an amendment to support MSU-Northern's biodeisel research. I'd like to thank Representatives Hansen, Stahl, and Belcourt for the great teamwork on that effort.

While it didn't pass the House, the vote was very close, and so I feel confident that amendment will be supported in the Senate. House Bill 2 now moves to the Senate where I trust that Republicans will continue to look for ways to make government more efficient and effective. There is still much work to be done and I look forward to hearing your thoughts on ways to make state government more accountable to taxpayers.

Rep. Wendy Warburton


  1. I see that there was no mention of your voting for repeal of medical marijuana that would have COST Montana something like 12 million dollars a year. (That's an astonishing amount when you consider the fact that Montana has less than one million residents!). Do you want to build jobs or take them away? Im confused. All sarcasm aside I do appreciate the fact that you are trying to save Montana money, just be carefull how you do it please.

    P.S I got 200 bucks (my share of that 200 million) if it means important programs do not get cut and Montanans can live well.

  2. I wouldn't mind seeing my taxes go down. It's really a hardship trying to pay my property taxes every year.

  3. Shawn ever think you have a problem with marijuana? it seems that is all you ever crow about, by now we all know you think the stuff is going to save whe world and may be so if we were all stoned who cares what goes on. I would like to know if every one used this wonder medicen who would be left to work and support the programs that Mrs. Warburton was trying to fund.

  4. The point Shawn raises is valid fuelburner. Any thoughts on the apparent contradiction between Ms. Warburton's words and actions?

  5. Thanx Surely. I was simply pointing out warbs contradictions. Next time I will use different subject matter just for you Fuel.

  6. Contradictions or omissions? Guess they're both deceptive. Warb... you're a nice lady but I disagree with just about everything you are doing.

    You (and others pushing this budget) do a whole lotta talking about the slimmer budget and how amazing it is and how much money you are saving Montana but you do not say ONE word about what you had to CUT to get there. Those things matter and they effect a HUGE amount of our MT residents. It all looks good until you get down to the nit and grit. Sorry. That's just "my opinion"...

  7. fuelburner for some reason you have the impression that if you smoke pot, that makes you incapable of working.. where do you people come up with this drivel?

  8. No doubt ax. I work one full time job and one part time job. Pretty silly thing to say fuely

  9. let us mention an item never talked about...
    corporations in mt pay 1/100 of the tax rate you do...
    if they had to pay only 1%, the 0 income rate here in dream land...
    it would increase the state income by 40 mil.
    the montana (model) constitution states perpetuities (corporations) only exist for "charitable" purposes...
    where's the charity?
    that would be you, folks...you provide the charity to the corporations.

  10. 69...

    you are dead on...
    typical righwingo...
    bulk of the cuts were to human services...
    you know, worthless poor folk and disadvantaged children, old farts...
    though, in fairness, she sat on a judiciary committee that struck minimum sentences for convicted sex criminals...
    more family values...
    the republicans almost admit serving the top 3% of the rich...
    there might be ten of those living in mt...
    none are on this blog...
    so the republiCONs here do the same thing on a miniature scale.
    can you spell d-u-h?

  11. My bad I was under the impression that mm card holders were on some kind of disability to get the mm and that most work places did not allow people to be under the influance of mind altering substances. I thaught mm patiants were in such pain they can not work or that they are chemo patiants who probably would not be able to work or had some ptsd or something, all bad things, but never thaught you may be able to be without your mm to get through the day at work. I've never tried marijuana so I would not know how great it is but if we were to make it legal it would sure slow down the mexican border and may be save some tax money.

  12. I would like to know where you would cut the states budget without affecting the poor? They are always going to be the first to suffer. I would also like to know where to cut the budget that would eliminate subsidies at the state level that the rich enjoy?
    Personally I will know the legislature is serious about cutting the budget when they inform the colleges sports teams that they have to pay their own way without students and the state subsidizing them.

  13. cranky...

    why weren't county, state and fed services a problem 40 years ago?