By HDN Editorial Staff
As the New Year's cheers die down, we can now look ahead to the new plans of Gov. Judy Martz, the start of the 57th Legislature and hopefully a turnaround for Montana's future.
Martz, the first woman ever to hold the the state's top job, was sworn in as governor after serving as Gov. Marc Racicot's lieutenant governor.
The Butte native is receiving heat already for her proposed budget, which trimmed the Racicot spending proposal by $43 million. The Martz budget proposal leaves little financial room for any new programs or services.
Clayton Schenck, the director of Legislative Fiscal Division, said in an Associated Press story that the Martz proposal leaves the state with only a $30 million surplus by the end of the next two-year budget period, $13 million less than the already inadequate balance Racicot proposed.
Montana's economic turmoil may explode no matter who is holding the reins with the national economic slowdown forecasted.
The state's lawmakers will invade the halls of the Capitol Wednesday to help forge Montana's future. Many issues will be debated in the coming months including taxes, utility deregulation, business opportunities and educational needs.
Term limits, coupled with the Martz administration and the other newly elected state officials, will make this an especially interesting session simply because of all the new faces in the house and senate.
We, at The Havre Daily News, wish all involved in guiding Montana through the rough waters good luck and to remember that we all are in this together.