November 17, 2014 | Montana Budget and Policy Center
The following is a statement from the Montana Budget and Policy Center’s Executive Director Sarah Cobler Leow in response to Governor Bullock’s proposed 2017 Biennium budget, released today.
“Today Governor Bullock proposed a budget that makes smart investments in our state that will benefit businesses, communities, and individuals.”
“The governor’s budget includes using federal funds to expand affordable health care coverage to the 70,000 working Montanans who have been left out and unable to afford coverage. We all benefit from living in a healthy and thriving state. A carefully-drafted, Montana-made plan to cover lower-income friends and neighbors will help create 12,000 new, good-paying jobs, boost our economy, support rural hospitals, and build healthy communities.”
“The governor also maintained his focus on education by investing in our youngest learners through pre-Kindergarten. For every dollar Montana invests in pre-K, the state will enjoy annual returns between $63 and $113 million, providing a welcomed boost to our economy. Kids and families benefit as well. Students will be better prepared, reducing the need for special education, and parents are more productive at work with affordable, reliable, quality child care. Participants are more likely to graduate high school, less likely to be involved in the criminal justice system, and will earn more over their lifetimes.”
“We are pleased to see the Governor investing at historic levels in Indian Country. The Governor’s budget includes strong investments in tribal colleges, Indian Country Economic Development grants and a new loan program for entrepreneurs, and support for native language preservation. These investment will continue to boost educational and workforce opportunities for Montanans in Indian Country.”
“Governor Bullock advocates for policies that help hard working Montanans, creates jobs, and grows our economy through his budget. These proposals benefit all of us by making smart investments in proven programs. As we move forward to the 2015 legislative session, we hope legislators across the state will follow his lead in supporting budget decisions that provide opportunity to all Montana families, invest in our vital public systems, and put our state on the path to long-term prosperity.”
A more in depth analysis of the proposed budget will be released in the next few weeks.
The Montana Budget and Policy Center (MBPC) is a nonprofit organization providing in-depth research and analysis on budget, tax, and economic issues. Our core focus is publishing credible, timely, and easy-to-understand reports on the fiscal policies that most impact low and moderate income Montanans. Our research and analysis then informs public policy, the media and the broader public.