Recently, the governor's office succeeded in vetoing House Bill 12. House Bill 12 was a much-needed, one-time fund that could have been allocated to all providers such as our companies which assist and care for Montanans who are elderly and/or with disabilities. This funding could give providers the ability to offer a much-needed and well-overdue wage increase to over 1,100 dedicated, hard working personal care attendants.
Recently, and much to my surprise the governor approved a 3 percent wage increase for state employees beginning July 1, 2013. This increase will be followed by another 5 percent increase in 2014. This is a serious increase of state spending. Please know, I’m not suggesting state employees do not deserve a wage increase. However, I ask myself, why take away a caregiver’s modest 2 percent increase when state employees will receive a total of 8 percent in the next two years?
Finally, our companies fought hard to get our voices heard through the Legislature to vote “yes” to override the governors decision to veto HB 12. I want to express my sincere thanks to all those legislators who stood by their principles and did not give in to political pressure to change their vote on HB 12. To those legislators who engaged in partisan politics and changed their votes as a result of pressure from the governor's office — shame on you.
Chairman, Consumer Direct Management Solutions