"Montana, Don’t Be Another Wyoming," says Bill Schneider

Columnist Bill Schneider at New West writes: Earlier this week, the Montana House of Representatives, on a 58-41 vote, passed an appropriation to send at least $150,000 in the hard-earned tax money to a Cheyenne law firm (Budd-Falen) to sue the federal government–at the same time cutting money for programs like all-day kindergarten, assistance for the mentally ill and foster care for Meth babies. Read the rest.

He fears that Montana may go the way of Idaho and Wyoming on wolves because this money would hire a well known far right Wyoming law firm to get Montana involved in Wyoming’s delisting lawsuit.

Folks needs some explanation, however. The Republican Party gained control of the Montana House in the last election by one vote (actually on the vote of an extremist 3rd party candidate who doesn’t even believe there should be public education). The Republicans rewarded him by making him chairman of the House’s education committee! Democrats control the state senate by a narrow margin and the governor is a Democrat.

The Republican majority in the House is mostly bunch of far right wing ideologues and their extremist notions will most likely killed by the Senate and/or the governor. However, it is possible that this appropriation to enter the Wyoming lawsuit could slip through as part of a larger deal to settle the budget crisis the Republicans have created in Montana.



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Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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Ralph Maughan