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Saturday, April 16, 2005

MT-Gov: Republicans Help Schweitzer Craft Legacy

Posted by Bob Brigham

Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer has been in office for only a few months, yet already people are talking about a "legacy" crafted on support of small business and smart energy policy. From the Great Falls Tribune:

HELENA — Three major Schweitzer administration proposals won slim approval in the House on Friday, as a handful of Republicans defied party leadership to hand the Democratic governor key victories on ethanol, wind power and business taxes.

The dramatic votes came during a daylong floor session, interrupted three times by party meetings where Republican leaders strongly urged their brethren to use their 50-vote block to stop the Democrats' initiatives. [...]

[House Republican Floor Leader Michael] Lange also gave a fiery speech against the wind-power bill, calling it an "abomination" and an attempt by Gov. Brian Schweitzer to start crafting his own "legacy" for the state.

"I want to kick it right in the governor's teeth with this bill," Lange said. "So vote no."

Yet on each bill, at least one Republican declined to follow the party line.

Ethonal and wind energy are great legacy issues in Montana. And the business tax issue wasn't a tax increase, rather it exempted 13,000 small businesses property taxes by freezing the rate on business equipment taxes and increasing from $5,000 to $20,000 the amount of equipment exempt from taxation. Those 13,000 small business owners will remember Schweitzer achieved bipartinsan support to lower their bills, the farmers love ethonal and wind power will pay dividends for years to come.

Posted at 03:28 PM in 2008 President - Democrats, Montana | Technorati