Hopefully Legislature can find compromise that will help everyone


November 13, 2017

I had planned a follow-up on the fun times Judy and I have had in the last little bit. But, as you have heard and read, Montana’s Governor has called for a Special Session, which is set to start Nov. 14.

The scope he proposed is limited to what was suggested to fix the $228M budget shortfall, which came about, in part, from the most expensive fire season in Montana state history. Some of the proposed cuts to departments are from 4.5 percent to 10 percent, depending on the Governor’s priority. The Republican leadership has also proposed a plan of their own to fix the issue. Both proposals have been all over the media. My hope is that somewhere in all this, there is a compromise that will work for everyone, and we end up doing more good than harm.

As time goes on, there have been a number of individual legislators coming forward with their own ideas on how to fix things. These ideas range from taking coal tax severance money, taxing different items, furloughing government employees, amending the broken forest industry, etc. I will admit, I do not have the answer to fix past overspending. I do know folks in agriculture in the eastern part of the state had a very short crop this year, and gas and oil production are down. Both of these issues will affect citizens’ lives and the state’s tax revenue bottom line.

If you have emailed me in the past week and I have not gotten back to you, sorry. Due to the special session, my email has been overrun with special interest groups and their agendas. I do try to prioritize my constituents from the rest, so if you could put your county name in the subject, I can see it up front and reply to you first. Again, thank you all for the support.


Sen. Russ Tempel, R-Chester



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