The Roundup -

Letter To The Editor

 


I just heard the Governor for our great state of Montana say he tried to get an “Infrastructure Bill” passed during the last legislative session. He said it was due to “partisan politics” that it didn’t happen. I have been trying to get the truth out about this so-called “Infrastructure Bill”. This is what I’ve discovered:

Senate Bill #416 was introduced by Senator John Brenden from Scobey. When you read SB 416, the first line says, “an act providing funding and authorization for Capitol and infrastructure projects state wide.”

If you ask anyone what SB 416 says, they would tell you it was an infrastructure bill. On the second page of the bill, you will find the following: “Infrastructure project’s means: (a) drinking water systems; (b) waste water treatment; (c) sanitary sewer or storm sewer systems; (d) solid waste disposal and separation systems, including site acquisition, preparation and monitoring; (e) local roads; or (f) bridges.

Keep in mind that the infrastructure is to be paid for on a matching fund grant.

Section 2 of the bill says, “There is within the state, special revenue fund provided for in 17-2-102 an account called the local infrastructure grant program account to provide grant funding to local governments for local infrastructure projects.”

However, on page 7, section 10 (b), the maximum amount of grant funding that may be received in a single county, including grant funding under this {this act} and any grant funding awarded by the 64th legislature, may not exceed $5 million dollars. All of which sounds and looks good for the infrastructure projects throughout this great state of Montana.

However, what most of those I have spoken with are unaware of is in Section 11, which reads in part: “authorization of and appropriation for ‘Capital Projects’ upon passage and approval of the act provides funds for the following projects: Dept. of Public Health and Human Services; First Step – Mental Health - $7.6 million (CPA). NOTE: All funds for the following projects in the indicated amounts in this section are appropriated to the Department of Administration: Montana Heritage Center - $25 million, $5 million (Authority Only), Montana University System, Romey Hall Bozeman - $18.4 million (CPA, $4.6 million (Authority Only), Missoula UM Renovation Clapp Science Building - $10 millions (CPA), MSU Billings Library Renovation - $2.65 million (CPA), MSU Great Falls Learning and Veteran Center - $3 million (CPA), MTECH Butte Renovate Engineering Facility - $6 million (CPA), $4 million (Authority Only), Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks: Lewis & Clark Caverns Electrical SP Upgrades - $1.75 million (CPA).

You do the math! My question is this: WHAT PART OF THE INFRASTRUCTURE DEFINITION DO THE PROJECTS FIT IN?

I would also like to add, there are a couple of candidates running for positions in Helena for the next legislative session, that have given me the distinct impression they would have passed this TAX AND SPEND bill.

I know Representative Scott Staffinson did the right thing when he voted ‘NO’ on SB 416! I urge you to read this bill for yourself. Go to http://www.leg.mt.gov/bills/2015/billhtml/SB416.htm.

When asked the other day WHY! I was supporting Steve Hinebauch for the state Senate Dist. 18, it only took a second to say because he is the right person for the job.

I have known Steve for many many years. We first met at a republican State Convention. We were very much interested in keeping the Pro-Life plank in the State Republican Platform. We are still very much Pro-Life; after all, Steve is a husband, father and grandfather.

Steve believes in our Constitutional rights and is not willing to sacrifice any just to get a bill trough the Legislature. Steve was raised in Montana on Montana values, is operating a successful ranching operation and is known to be honest and fair with everyone. Steve understands all the challenges of running a business and how regulations affect the bottom line. Steve will represent all of Eastern Montana issues, while understanding how this affects all of Montana’s taxpayers.

In my possession is a card that says, “I am a Republican Because: I believe in each person’s dignity, freedom, ability, equal rights, equal justice, equal opportunity, free enterprise and fiscal responsibility. The best government is that which governs least.”

I know Steve Hinebauch to be a hard working, honest Montanan. I also know Steve has the same beliefs about what it means to be a true Republican.

I would ask you to support Steve Hinebauch for Senate, or at least contact Steve and find out for yourself.

Duane Mitchell

 

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