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Hire Montanans First should not have been defeated

The House Business and Labor Committee fired the Hire Montanans First Act without cause. The committee "no" voters on House Bill 490 claim that not enough Montana contractors came forward as proponents.

I'll bet my paycheck the real reason was too much opposition from out of state interests that may have sweetened the naysayers' campaign coffers in the past.

Not enough support. That's a lame excuse. Guess Montana's unemployed or underemployed raising a family on $8 an hour don't count in the eyes of lawmakers who tabled the bill to hire Montanans first for publicly funded projects. Guess they overlooked support from labor organizations and Main Street businesses that stand to benefit from more Montanans working. Guess these lawmakers forgot about young people who want to stay home to earn a living and make a life but are forced to pack their bags, skills and talents and move elsewhere for good jobs. Guess the committee just doesn't get it that these people and many more of us are all proponents.

The elections weren't that long ago. Remember when some of these lawmakers were candidates campaigning for your vote and promising more jobs for Montana? Let's hold them accountable. Call or send a web message to the House Business and Labor Committee at 406-444-4800 or

Urge them to live up to their promise of jobs for Montana and give Hire Montanans First a second chance.

Mary Ann Dunwell, Helena


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