on more idiocy in Helena
--Dating from the early days of this state, the extraction industry has proved that it cannot be trusted to regulate itself. From the Anaconda company with its pit in Butte to the coal mining companies in Eastern Montana, the extraction industry has left a mess wherever it goes. We still face cleanup from old-time mines up near Cooke City. And now one legislator wants to let new cyanide leaching miners into the state if they use two mines grandfathered in to process the ore. The industry tried once to overturn the ban we (the people) voted in several elections ago and lost. Now its going for an end around by probably paying for one legislator's campaign.
--A few years ago, a Billings legislator introduced a bill that passed during its session to lower breathing standards in his city. Excuse me, to lower the amount of ugly smelling and ugly health reactions in Billings, allowing more sulphur dioxide in the air of downtown, all in the name of jobs. It took us several sessions before we could get that law changed and be able to breathe safely in downtown Billings again. And we didn't get any jobs out of it.
--Those of us who have been around for a while don't want any more promotion of boom and bust extraction and agriculture economies. If we look back at the history of this state's economy we can see that more bubbles have burst over the years leaving open mines and wind-blown topsoil in their wakes. Housing in our bigger cities goes up when the economy does and when the bust comes people walk away from their "new" homes and head for Denver or LA.
--The legislators also don't seem to realize that cutting taxes, an easy way to claim they are doing something about any deficit (which Montana does not have), particularly the taxes of small businesses does nothing for jobs and only enables business owners to sell out and buy the biggest houses in town. Jobs come only when customers are overwhelming the store counters to the point where more hands are needed.
--And the legislators don't seem to believe that the people of this state know what they are voting on. At least two voter-approved measures are up for gutting by legislative actions this year The aforementioned cyanide lead referendum and the medical marijuana issue. Both were approved by the people by a large percentage. In fact, when one would-be miner sought to overturn the leaching ban by public vote, the percentage against it actually went up. So what gives legislators the idea that they have the right to overturn what the people have approved in this democracy? Oh, yeah, maybe the voters don't know what they are voting on. Last November they elected the scariest Legislature since the one that elected Clark to the U.S. Senate. And then they elected a leadership that believes in one case that advertising can outsell a cure to problems and another who has the brains of an ostrich and doesn't think science is a viable source of information. His only issue seems to be putting roadblocks in front of divorces. A stupid, stupid MAN.