Montanans dig the Dems
After an entire legislative session led down the primrose path by bleeding heart liberals, you would think Montanans would wake up and realize that they just handed their state over to a bunch of stinking Democrats (Thanks to leftinthewest.com) But, alas, no:
Montana voters gave the 2005 Legislature significantly higher marks than they did the previous two sessions, although the verdict was nearly divided, a Lee Newspapers poll taken last week found.
...When asked how they would rate the 2005 Legislature, 49 percent of voters gave it positive marks, while 45 percent handed it negative grades, with 6 percent undecided.
...In 2003, 70 percent of voters had a negative assessment of the Legislature, while 27 percent had a positive one, with 3 percent undecided. In 2001, 58 percent of voters had a negative evaluation of the Legislature, while 27 percent had a positive one and 15 percent were undecided.
It appears that Montanans not only like what Democrats have to say in campaigns, but also how they govern. Under the heading Got'er Done, the Montana Democrats list their accomplishments for the past session:
1. Health Insurance Tax Credits and Insurance Pooling HB 667 (Wanzenried, Missoula-D) • Sets up purchasing pools and tax credits for small businesses that offer health insurance to their employees.
2. Prescription Drug Plan SB 324 (Tester, Big Sandy-D)
• Provides a prescription drug discount program for seniors and the disabled. High costs of prescription drugs forced people to cut their pills in half. This bill lowers drug costs so those people can take the medicine they need.
3. Economic Development Trust Fund HB 249 (Lindeen, Huntley-D)
• Provides a long-term, stable economic development funding source to help sustain local and regional economic development projects.
4. State Employee Pay Plan HB 447 (Gallik, Helena-D)
• Provides the first significant pay increase for the lowest paid state workers since 1991.
5. School Funding HB 63 (Villa, Anaconda-D)
• Provides $80 million additional funding for schools, helping 98% of Montana kids. Also gives schools more flexibility to maximize state dollars without placing a burden on local property taxpayers.
6. Definition of a System of Quality Public Schools SB 152 (Ryan, Great Falls-D)
• Provides a basis for a new funding formula based on educationally relevant factors, specifically addresses the constitutional provision of Indian Education for All, and maintains the constitutional authority of the Board of Public Education to set accreditation standards.
7. Increases Cap on Taxable Business Equipment SB 48 (Harrington, Butte-D)
• Increases cap on exemption for taxable property from $5,000 to $20,000. Eases the tax burden for 13,372 Montana small businesses. Also eliminates the trigger that would reduce business property tax rate from three to zero percent.
8.Ethanol Production SB 293 (Black, Shelby-R)
• Requires that when the State of Montana produces 40 million gallons of ethanol, fuel sold in Montana must be mixed with 10% ethanol.
9. Country of Origin Labeling HB 406 (Bergren, Havre-D)
• Requires meat sold in Montana to be labeled with a country of origin tag or label.
10. Habitat Montana HB 79 (Golie, Great Falls-D)
• Makes the Habitat Montana program permanent. The Habitat Montana program authorized the Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Commission to secure, develop, and maintain wildlife habitat.
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(and yes, we know that sometimes they're very, very wrong. Other times, they're right on.)