The Montana Democratic Party’s Capitol Report blog highlights a clip from the State of the State speech by Governor Schweitzer where he said: “If you choose to cut funding for public education, you do so as a reflection of your values, because we have the money in the bank.”
Of course, that only begs the question for the oil and gas counties in Eastern Montana: if the state has money in the bank, then why do you need to take the money from them to give to the rest of the state?
Meanwhile, the “4 for 2” group wonders why the state instead isn’t looking to use some of that money to pave four lanes across Montana’s Hi-Line.
The Great Falls Tribune has this:
Supporters of the “4-for-2” campaign say the Hi-Line would benefit by continuing the four-lane Theodore Roosevelt Expressway through Montana, making U.S. Highway 2 four lanes in Big Sky Country.
Sivertsen said that while the Highway 2 Association is not currently supporting or opposing any bills this session related to the desired Highway 2 expansion, the group is tracking a proposal by Gov. Brian Schweitzer to divert about $38 million annually in oil and gas tax revenues. Schweitzer has proposed shifting that money from counties where fossil fuels are produced to state coffers to pay for increases in school funding throughout the state
Sivertsen said that proposal could reverberate throughout the Hi-Line.
“With all of the upcoming development we see coming in 2011 in the oil and gas fields of northcentral Montana, that’s going to have big impacts on primary and secondary roads in our region,” Sivertsen said.
Once again, this issue highlights the infrastructure North Dakota has, that Montana does not.