The Billings Outpost

GOP cuts spending

It takes a lot of chutzpah to criticize the Republican Legislature for not spending enough and then turn around and brag about the great fiscal shape the state of Montana is in. But that’s Brian Schweitzer.

However, it is important for Montana voters to know that if it were up to the Democrats in the state Legislature, the state of Montana would be broke and in greater debt.

In amendments to House Bill 2 made on the floor of the Senate in 2011, our Democrat friends across the aisle proposed spending an additional $360 million. That does not include even more spending amendments made in the Finance Committee. And it does not include the $100 million in new spending and long-term debt that 100 percent of the Democrats supported in HB 439.

If the Democrats were in charge in the Montana Legislature, the state would be as broke and in debt as we are under the Democrats in Washington.

Montana needs to keep a Republican Legislature so that we don’t drive over the fiscal cliff.

I am happy that the state is running a surplus and I haven’t noticed that the wheels of government have ground to a halt. Excess funds should be returned to the taxpayer as proposed in Legislative Referendum 123 so people can spend it on their families, invest in their business or employees, or give it to their favorite charity.

Republicans will continue to keep a sharp eye on public spending.

Jeff Essmann

Montana Senate Majority Leader



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