Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Governor’s “sweeping” plans will cut into vital services

Our newly re-elected Governor Bullock is using a new word — “sweeping.”
As I understand, the governor wants to sweep $10 million out of the enhanced 911 fund, a fund in which every Montanan who has a phone has been contributing to through a surcharge on their phone bill since 2007 to improve 911 service.
He also wants to “sweep” $56 million dollars out of the Treasure State Endowment Fund, also known as TSEP. TSEP funds are used for matching grants for Montana counties and cities for infrastructure projects, such as dilapidated bridges the counties can’t afford to fix on their own.
These funds would be swept into the state’s general fund and spent elsewhere.
Meanwhile, the state legislature is considering adding 8 cents per gallon fuel tax to our gas, one of the highest fuel taxes in the nation for infrastructure spending.
Sounds as though this extra 8 cents per gallon tax would replace the infrastructure funds that would be swept into the general fund and spent elsewhere.
I think to myself, it would be nice to “sweep” someone else’s bank account into mine instead of decreasing my spending.

Steve Bue
Reed Point