Not sure where the full text of Gov. Steve Bullock’s (D-MT) “State of the State” address is at…but the GOP response is available, and I’ve got it below.
(UPDATE: Here is a link to the full State of the State speech. It is very long, so I will not post in full on here)
— Aaron Flint (@aaronflint) January 29, 2015
FULL TEXT OF GOP STATE OF THE STATE RESPONSE
by State Sen. Eric Moore (R-Miles City)
My name is Eric Moore. I’m a cattle rancher and grain farmer from Southeastern Montana, and I represent Senate District 19.
Before I share with you our Republican vision to build a better future for Montana, I would first like to outline a key principle that should guide us through the rest of this, and future legislative sessions.
While we address the people’s work during our time here in Helena, it’s important that we don’t devolve into launching personal attacks at those with which we disagree. That’s not what the people of Montana sent us here to do.
However, it is our duty to offer alternative proposals that are in the best interests of our constituents. This, the people’s house, is a forum of ideas. And all of them deserve to be heard, debated, and decided on their merits.
Among those ideas that deserve to be heard is the Republican vision for Montana’s future.
Republicans are sometimes painted as being anti-government. But, I don’t believe that’s true.
Republicans believe in a focused, accountable, and efficient government.
Republicans believe the more local the decisions, the better the government.
Republicans believe that government should work for the people, not force or even encourage them to become dependent on it.
Republicans believe that government should only do what private enterprise cannot, and do it very well. Remember, the jack-of-all-trades is a master of none.
And finally my friends, Republicans believe that jobs, prosperity and real opportunity come from the private sector, not from government
Tonight, our governor revealed his vision for Montana’s future. And we look forward to working to find common ground.
We share the governor’s goal of a brighter, healthier and more prosperous Montana, however we believe that there is a better way to get there.
The governor has shown us that he prefers to grow broken government programs rather than reform them.
He’s shown us that he believes in promoting his own political party’s strict ideology while at the same time vilifying others for being guided by their beliefs.
And most importantly, he’s shown us that his idea of leadership is trying to make government all things for all people.
At the beginning of the session, House and Senate Republicans released to the people of Montana our four-point plan. And it starts with jobs and the economy.
Promoting a strong and healthy state starts with the economy, because a good job provides far more than any government program ever can.
Republicans are dedicated to ensuring government facilitates economic growth, rather than prevent it.
Republicans are dedicated to policies that encourage business and government to collaborate and cooperate, not litigate.
And Republicans are dedicated to ensuring that our workforce has the skills necessary to drive a strong economy.
There are several Republican proposals working their way through the legislative process this session that aim to improve the overall business climate in Montana.
Like the proposal carried by Sen. Roger Webb, which protects Montana’s economy from President Obama’s war on coal.
And HB 166 carried by Representative Keith Regier, a tax relief proposal which would refund a portion of the state’s $350 million dollar budget surplus back to the working Montanans who paid for it.
But prosperity can only be achieved if our workforce is thoroughly prepared.
Republicans know that education equals opportunity.
We believe in expanding the educational opportunities that are available to students, parents, and the communities they live in.
We believe in investing in a state-of the-art learning infrastructure.
And we believe in promoting a system that focuses on an individual’s strengths and weaknesses, rather than a one size fits all approach.
Because that’s when you see real results.
Like the bill carried by Sen. Kris Hansen, which empowers parents to better provide for the education of children with disabilities.
And Senator Taylor Brown’s ongoing work to ensure that the funding for Montana’s university system is connected to measureable performance results.
And Senator Llew Jones’ proposal that encourages private donations to public and private learning institutions.
But even the best-trained workers are not productive if they’re not healthy.
Promoting a stable health care system should be a priority of this body every session. But whatever proposals we choose to adopt, they must be smart and they must be sustainable.
To safeguard healthcare options in Montana, our public policies need to ensure a competitive market that offers affordable, accessible coverage choices for hardworking Montanans.
Republicans know that we are obligated to care for those who cannot care for themselves. But the governor’s plan to expand Obamacare to able bodied, childless adults takes resources away from the most vulnerable in our communities.
And while the governor seems to be focused on expanding costly government-funded insurance, Republicans want to promote actual health care.
Because we won’t put the health of government contracts before the health of our people.
Just recently, Representative Ron Ehli presented a package of bills that bring quality mental health care services to the people of Montana, rather than forcing the people to go to the services.
And Senator Matt Rosendale’s proposal to restore the doctor-patient relationship, which will improve outcomes and reduce costs.
Or Senator Cary Smith’s bill to reduce fraud, abuse and mismanagement within our healthcare system, saving the state millions, and redirecting those resources to the truly needy.
But a well-trained, healthy Montanan with a good paying job still needs a road to get to work.
Republicans are pleased that the Governor finally seems to recognize the necessity of investing in Montana’s infrastructure.
But unfortunately, the governor’s proposal for addressing our infrastructure needs looks more like something you would see in Washington DC.
The $400 Million dollar price tag of the governor’s “Buy Montana Plan” would double the state’s debt.
When you lump in everything from water and sewer needs in the Bakken, to a museum in Helena, to purchasing big horn sheep habitat in one bill, how are legislators suppose to cast a responsible vote?
Republicans believe that budgeting is about prioritizing and that each project must be evaluated on its own merits.
Republicans are going to work hard to fund Montana’s critical infrastructure needs this session. But this issue needs a long-term solution.
When $35 Million dollars in much needed infrastructure funding is vetoed in a non-election year, only to be replaced by $400 million two short years later, surely all Montanans can agree that is not very effective long-term planning.
Senator Rick Ripley is completing work on a bill that will take the volatility and politics out of Montana’s infrastructure funding. Providing the long-term solution we need.
Because pork barrel spending is not how things are done in Montana.
So my fellow Republicans, we have our work cut out for us on these and other issues that will come before this 64th session of our citizen legislature. But in the busy days ahead, we must not forget that there are those who will continue their assault on our Constitutional rights and individual freedoms.
Whether it’s protecting your private property, your right to keep and bear arms, your freedom of speech or your freedom to worship God as you see fit, Republicans are determined to safeguard the rights guaranteed by our Constitution.
The party of Lincoln has always served as the wall between your freedoms, and those who wish to take them. And that will not change.
Thank you and God bless.