The Special Session

The way to get things done is not to mind who gets the credit for doing them. – Benjamin Jowett

I’m kind of happy the Montana Legislature is getting together to try to address the $227 million budget shortage. It will probably give me something to write about. It will be fun to watch the jockeying and the games being played as the members of the Montana Legislature get to feel important again for a few days.

I’ve said often that the Montana Legislature being in session is like the circus coming to Helena. The legislators head to Helena with the best intentions, but for some reason they end up drinking out of the “stupid fountain” that must be somewhere down a dark hall in the capitol. Then, many of these people end up making asses of themselves and embarrass Montana.

I don’t think most Montanans have that much respect for many members of the state legislature.

A couple Montana newspapers have already chimed in with their requests for the members of the legislature to work together – to get it done.

The Billings Gazette editorial board had this to say:

The revenue shortfall is a Montana problem that should unite our leaders to find equitable, prudent, compassionate remedies. We call on Democrats and Republicans to avoid blaming each other. Don’t insist on a “win” for your party at the expense of what’s good for Montana. The only win that counts is maintaining the essential public services that lawmakers already approved in the budget, and doing so with responsible policy changes as quickly as possible.

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle editorial board had this to say:

There will be some give and take over the coming week of the special session. But there’s no reason Republicans and the Democratic governor can’t reach a compromise that will keep budget cuts below $100 million. That’s not great, but it’s a whole lot better than $227 million coming out of programs for education and the state’s most vulnerable citizens.

Let’s can the politics, call the session to order and put first Montana and its citizens.

Let’s hope the legislators work together for the good of Montana. Let’s hope they don’t, once again, embarrass our great state.

Let’s hope they surprise us…in a good way.

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