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No, No, this time we really mean it!

Republicans are back in power in the Montana Legislature with the biggest majority since being swept in to power along with the Contact on America caucus. Last time they had this kind of majority, they blew it by focusing on a lot of social issue tomfoolery. This time, they’re serious. “”We need to recognize why were elected as Republicans,” said Rep. Mike Milburn, a Cascade Republican who will be running to become House Speaker.” No more silliness. This time it’s all about cutting taxes and reducing government.

Proposed legislation would strip feds of wolf authority in Montana Fiscal responsibility

State Sen. Joe Balyeat, R-Bozeman, plans to reintroduce a wolf management bill he fielded in 2009. It would declare that the United States government “lacks authority to impose wolves on Montana,” cancel any existing partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to manage wolves, and demand that “the United States agree in writing to unfettered state management of wolves with no further assertion of federal authority.”

“It would also conflict with the First Amendment right to petition the government for redress of grievance. But that’s why we have a court system in our constitutional democracy. Legislatures do foolish things and courts declare them unconstitutional.” says constitutional law professor Jack Tuholske.

Fiscal responsibility. Local senator drafting bill to cap state employee pay, benefits Paula Stoll, the Montana Department of Human Resources Director says, “…state employees’ pay, on average, is 11 percent below private and public sector pay for comparable jobs in the region, according to a market analysis completed in July.” But, that’s no reason not to punish public servants.

Fiscal responsibility. Let’s look at a few of the fiscal bills that are set to be introduced by Republicans in the 2011 legislature.

  • Jim Shockley wants to repeal the legality of medical marijuana. (LC0110) Only one of several bills that would limit or remove the law approved by Montana voters.
  • Ken Peterson wants to prohibit agencies from recognizing federal rule unless authorized by Legislature. (LC0562). He would also like to see a resolution opposing designation of national monuments without state’s consent. (LC0561)
  • Dave Lewis wants a resolution calling on the U.S. Congress to withdraw from the UN. (LC0063)
  • Greg Hinkle thinks that only the county sheriff must be allowed to authorize federal employee arrest, search, or seizure. (LC0030)
  • Of course we all knew this would happen. Representative Bill Harris wants to reinstate outfitter-sponsored hunting licenses, which voters voted down only a week ago.

I could go on, but you get the picture. This is how Republicans spend your money. Republicans are not about fiscal responsibility. Never were, never will be. They are all about special interests and seeing that money goes to their friends and not yours. There will of course be all the usual bills, such as the perennial Personhood Amendment to make sure that embryos can vote. Jeff Essman would like to see parental notification for abortions, “I think there will be work to do something on that issue,” he said” There will be several bills to make it harder for Montanans to get health care. You can expect gays, the environment and the federal government to take a virtual shellacking by the legislature, but Republicans will continue to believe that there is a way to cut taxes on business, increase funding for fringe social issues,  and get Montana out of the UN all in one fell swoop. Yes folks, the lunatics are once again in charge of the asylum.


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