State budget cuts now over $1 billion!
Mar. 8 NOTE: Some of the cuts mentioned below have now been restored. We are getting our message through! Plenty of work ahead of us, plenty of radical cuts to reverse.
As of Feb. 3, 2011, the Republicans who control the Montana Legislature have made cumulative decisions that would cut the next state budget by more than $1 billion.
Through action or inaction, their decisions have resulted a cut of $500 million from Governor Schweitzer's proposed budget. The rest of the $1 billion cut is federal funding that these legislators don't want for Montana.
There is no need for these cuts. Montana has the money to fund public programs and services at current levels and still have $360 million in the bank. The cuts are reckless and wrong.
Even though Republican legislators came to the 2011 session promising to create jobs, their cuts will put hundreds if not thousands of hard-working public and private sector employees out of work.
This is an issue of values, not money. The revenue is there to fund Governor Schweitzer’s modest budget. (The governor’s budget already contains cuts. It is balanced, and it would not require raising anyone’s taxes.) Clearly, the people making the cuts do not value the education and public services.
The $1 billion in cuts includes over $500 million cut from the Department of Public Health and Human Services alone, $78 million in cuts to K-12 schools, $32 million from higher education.
The legislature's Appropriations subcommittees will be making additional changes to the budget up until Feb. 17. After that date, it will be up to the House Appropriations Committee and Senate Finance and Claims Committee to decide how much of our public investments in education, health care, and infrastructure to restore.
MEA-MFT is working full time to restore the cuts. We can do only with everyone's help!
Please contact your local legislators today. Tell them:
- Public services and education pave the way for economic development and jobs in Montana. They are investments that pay for themselves.
- Cutting them will destroy hundreds of good existing jobs and hurt local economies all over Montana. Is this the legacy the 2011 Legislature wants to leave?
- The budget cuts passed by the appropriations subcommittees are reckless and wrong. The revenue is available to fund the governor’s budget.
- Please reverse the budget cuts now!
Here's how to contact legislators.