Gov’s Veto on Infrastructure Could See Override

Will legislative Democrats who say they support infrastructure funding in Eastern Montana, which has a direct economic impact in Billings and Yellowstone County, actually stand up and override the Governor from their own party?  That’s the burning question before the June 10th deadline. (Corrected from initial version which simply said “Monday’s deadline”)    

The answer from the head of the Montana Petroleum Association sounds like he’s saying- maybe. MPA’s Dave Galt says a bill to fund infrastructure in Eastern Montana is “the one to watch,” and adds that Montana House Bill 218 could see an override of Gov. Steve Bullock’s veto.      

Here’s what Dave Galt had to say in an interview posted at Petroleum

The governor also said that he wanted to do that (funding) with bonding, but the legislature didn’t allow the bonding bill to pass. So frankly, you’ve got $300 million-plus in an ending fund balance that’s probably going to be closer to $400 million at the end of the fiscal year, and the governor didn’t want to send an additional $35 million to eastern Montana to deal with site-specific impacts, which HB 218 would have done.

Petroleum News Bakken: Isn’t HB 218 also out for a veto poll?

Galt: It is out for a veto poll, and if there was one bill that just might have the possibility of passing, that one might get overridden. In my conversations with legislators, there certainly are a lot of folks that are very upset about that veto. So that, in my mind, would be the one to watch.

We supported that bill, but of course you know the minute we come out and support it you get the backlash from the pro-tax people that say that if we had just paid our full share, they would have had plenty of money to do that. And I’m getting that from some legislators even when I point out that the bulk of those impacts that are occurring along the eastern edge of Montana are being driven by development in North Dakota and by people that are living in Montana and working in North Dakota. Our drilling activity in Montana isn’t even greater than it was in 2006. So saying we’re not paying our taxes, I think is disingenuous. Bakken Still Booming, Benefits Flowing to Billings

The latest figures from the North Dakota Tax department show the Bakken Boom is definitely still booming.

When it comes to taxable sales and purchases in 2012, North Dakota totaled more than $25.2 billion, an increase of 29 percent over 2011.

Rick Leuthold, Director of Business Development for Sanderson Stewart, says the booming economy in the oil patch flows directly to Billings.

THE KICKER: Hey Mouth Breather! Where’s My Super Bowl Tickets?

From State lawmaker acknowledges making anonymous online posts, apologizes

A state lawmaker on Thursday acknowledged making “anonymous” and “fictitious” online posts attacking constituents who support shale-gas drilling in Washington County and apologized to two people for any “offensive or hurtful” actions.

Residents and the industry group Energy In Depth accused Rep. Jesse White, D-Cecil, of using aliases to call his critics “mouth breathers” and to call industry supporters, including senior citizens, “hucksters.”

The Trib reported in 2011 that White once enjoyed a cozy relationship with Cecil-based Range Resources Inc., asking for a ride on a corporate jet to a Super Bowl game and complaining that the drilling company didn’t give him enough campaign money, according to emails Range released.

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