The Billings Outpost

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SB416 pork spending

Infrastructure for needed repairs and new projects has merit. First, it must meet the financing cost test and a priority needs test. Senate Bill 416 failed in both areas.

SB416 was a bad news bill. It had a $150 million “tax hike” using “borrowed money” that taxpayers will have to pay when the money is spent. The cost to each working taxpayer is about $300 out of today’s paycheck.

SB416 was not vetted or approved in HB2 during the budget appropriations process. Instead, it was jammed and crammed down our throats in the last five days of the legislative session with unacceptable pork barrel low-priority projects: Romney Hall at Montana State University Bozeman, $18.4 million; Montana Heritage Center in Helena, $25 million; Montana University System Science Building in Missoula, $10 million. Votes to pass this bill were added with promises of project funding.

Special session threat. What a joke. We were in the same building with an elevator between the governor’s office and the House floor. That didn’t work.

It does not make sense to complete the HB2 budget, then borrow $150 million more with deficit spending when we have the money.

SB416 is $150 million in deficit spending. The cost to individual taxpayers is about $300 each. The pork barrel project priority list needs to be corrected. The $53 million Bozeman, Helena and Missoula pork barrel projects and 120 other project costs need to be reevaluated.

Follow the money.

Rep. Clayton Fiscus


Last Updated on Thursday, 27 August 2015 08:19

Hits: 205

Back people, not party

In the weeks after the 2015 legislative session, I read a few letters about the Republicans who voted against the party. My understanding is that a politician is to represent the district or the people. It is nice to have a party platform; however, as with all things, one size doesn’t fit all. A good politician will look at all sides of an issue. Is it in the best interest of his or her county, the people he or she represents? Will it help or hinder the state or country?

Sometimes laws have a good title, except the law does the opposite of the intent. As a friend said about prayer, “no” is an answer. Is it truly in your best interest, is the timing right, are you ready for the responsibility or can you handle whatever you desire?

A politician is a public servant, not a rubber stamp for whatever party, PAC or lobbyist wants their vote. Working together for the betterment of all, not a select few, would be what I would like to see in our politicians and political parties.

Lauris Byxbe

Pompeys Pillar

Last Updated on Thursday, 27 August 2015 08:18

Hits: 173

Curb that dog

Dogs! Most of us love our dogs. As a whole, we spend millions on them each year. They go for checkups more often than we do.

My question: Why are there so many irresponsible dog owners out there? Dogs are allowed to run loose. Usually it is the larger dogs. In my case, it has been labs, pit bulls, golden retrievers, etc.

I walk my Jack Russell terrier twice a day, and we have been attacked eight to 10 times in the last few years. To me, attacked means an animal rushing toward me that I cannot deter unless I use my pepper spray.

We have laws in Billings. Your dog needs to be leashed and under your control when off your property. I recently spoke with a man on his bicycle with his Doberman running out ahead of him 20 to 30 feet (no leash).  He said he chooses not to obey that law.

I  used to enjoy our walks. Now I am always scanning the street and general area. Where will the next dog come from? It has become quite stressful, but I will not give it up.

So what am I to do? Carry a gun and shoot the attacking dogs? I don’t want to do that, but legally I could.  I do fear that one day the pepper spray won’t work properly, and my dog or I will be mauled or killed.

Please, if you love your dogs, keep them safe. Don’t allow them to run loose on our streets.

It is also the law that when you walk your dog you must clean up its poop!

Sandy Weiss


Last Updated on Thursday, 27 August 2015 08:17

Hits: 232

Support Iran deal

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., spoke the real truth about the nuclear agreement: “This deal isn’t perfect and no one trusts Iran, but it has become clear to me that the world is united behind the agreement with the exception of Israel.” She is giving her support for the agreement.

If I am correct, there is a five-year period in this agreement, and a lot can happen in five years, and just possibly something good. If the Congress defeats it, we will be outside the world of nations.

Let the war boys stick with the present air war and training of these so-called allies. No ground force war. Let’s keep on talking.

James O. Southworth


Last Updated on Thursday, 27 August 2015 08:17

Hits: 227

Give up on fires

Stop fighting those forest fires!

If you have ever seen pictures of the mountains in Arizona and New Mexico, then you know what the mountains of Montana are destined to look like in just a few, short decades with the advent of global warming. Let those wild fires “burn baby burn.”

There is no stopping the inevitable now, because the high mountain desert is moving our way. No one can justify the cost in money, material and manpower to stop what God himself has given you.

Asa’el Avraham



Last Updated on Thursday, 23 July 2015 10:11

Hits: 252

Great article

Great article on garbage by Cara [Chamberlain, Outpost, June 4]. Hope a lot of people see it and take it seriously. It’s their children’s futures at stake ... . Hope they realize that.

Robbi Robinson



Last Updated on Thursday, 23 July 2015 10:10

Hits: 308

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