The state of Montana has a $227 million dollar budget hole -- largely caused by Republican legislators' refusal to appropriately tax the wealthy, corporations, and mineral extractors. The decline in state revenue threatens Montana’s ability to adequately invest in the public institutions and services that educate our children, keep our communities safe, and provide health care and other services to our most vulnerable neighbors.
Governor Bullock has proposed to address the $227 million revenue shortfall through an equal combination of cuts, revenue increases, and transfers and other legislation based on realistic revenue projections. This means automatic cuts to state government budgets, and a special session of the Legislature to attempt to address the shortfall. The Governor has called the Legislature back into a special session beginning at noon on Tuesday, November 14, 2017. Hearings begin on Monday, November 13, 2017.
The threat of $227 million of cuts is real and would have devastating and long-term impact on families and communities.
The Governor's proposal is far from perfect, but it will help to mitigate some of the cuts that would have been taken.
That said, it is not enough. The resulting $76 million in cuts will impact some of our most vulnerable families, and the legislature should consider going even further to put a stop to these cuts.
We need to call our legislators and tell them:
The switchboard is open on Monday with the start of the special session. You can call 406-444-4800 to leave a message for your legislator. You can also find your legislator's email address via http://leg.mt.gov/css/Sessions/65th/roster.asp?HouseID=0&SessionID=111
It’s time Montana leaders fulfill their responsibilities to the people they represent and balance our budget in a way that makes sense for Montana taxpayers, workers, and families.
Watch a short video explaining the shortfall:
The Senate health care bills are flying fast. It's very hard to keep track. Whatever we think the bills are now, they will change, and the Senate GOP is not going to make the text of what gets voted on public ahead of time. McConnell has been very clear about that.
The quickest, easiest way to explain the basics of what is being proposed is to grab an expert explanation. Please welcome Topher Spiro, Senior Fellow, Economic Policy and Vice President, Health Policy, Center for American Progress. He tweets as @TopherSpiro.
Remember, whatever the GOP votes on will contain bits and pieces from various drafts. It's almost guaranteed to be a worst case scenario.
After you read this, CALL YOUR SENATORS! 202-224-3121
But first, read Topher. Take a good look at the chars. Then CALL.
Put the Daily Actions in your pocket with Amplify, a team tool for peaceful grassroots activism.
Missoula Rises and IndivisibleMT have teamed up to use Amplify to make the Daily Actions easy, simple, and in your pocket. Amplify contains only our group's latest calls to action -- no news or noise. When you complete an action, mark it "complete" so we can track your progress as a group. See the actions other members have taken, and cheer them on. See how many of your friends and neighbors are taking action with you.
When you complete an action it disappears, so we are re-loading the actions nightly. Stay tuned for enhancements that just reset repeating actions, and actions color coded by priority.
To join our Amplify team:
If you have an iOS device, here’s the app in iTunes.
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Or find it by searching for Civic Tools Amplify
Remember, you will need a code to join a team. The IndivisibleMT code is 289-029-004. If you don’t have that handy, email IndivisibleMT@gmail.com for an invite.
Dear Resistance Members,
Are you currently:
Contact us online at https://missoularesistancelibrary.wordpress.com/ or drop in and visit with us Thursday, June 15th, from 5 to 7pm at the Union Club Bar, 208 E Main.
Resisting and persisting,
(Image credit: Sorvala)
A guest post by Coffee Shop Rabbi
Yesterday Ben Wickler, the Washington director of MoveOn.org published a long thread on Twitter that I think is so important I’m going to post a paraphrase of it.
He makes a lot of suggestions. If all you can do is 1-3, do it. If you can add 4 and 5, good! (I’m going to.) And every one after that is good, too. I’m in a state with two Democratic Senators who have been loud in their denunciation of TrumpCare already, so I will concentrate on 4-6. I invite you to join me.
OK, here’s what Mr. Wickler suggests. Your access to health care, and that of your neighbors, may depend on taking his advice in the next two weeks:
The progress of TrumpCare in the Senate is reaching a critical point.
The GOP leadership in the Senate plans to pass a bill very quickly, bypassing all the usual hearings and safeguards.
We have time to protest, but VERY LITTLE TIME. They plan to pass this monster by the end of the month.
They plan to send the bill to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO,) sight unseen by the public, by this coming Tuesday, June 13. Negotiations on the bill are nearly over. What has leaked out about it is horrific.
When they get the bill back from the CBO, the plan is to fast-track it to the Senate floor. That means no filibuster. No discussion.
The week of June 26, the score will come out, the bill will be made public, the public will scream, and they’ll grit their teeth & pass it. No town halls, no public discussion, no hearings with experts or people affected, NOTHING. Just the vote.
What Wickler hears from the Hill is that they have already come close to the votes to do this.
Unlike the House vote, where most people only saw what was happening in the final 48 hours, we have 3 weeks to stop this bill.
1. PHONE CALLS – Senate offices are back to normal in the number of phone calls they receive from constituents. We must light up the phones with our feelings about TrumpCare.
2. Put this number on speed dial, if you haven’t already: 202-224-2131.
3. Tell your calendar or Siri or whatever you do for reminders to make a call to Congress DAILY at that number.
4. Don’t just call your Senator. Recruit callers. Type “Friends in Tennessee” to Facebook. Remind them to call Senator Lamar Alexander.
5. Do the same for these Senators:
6. Call friends in TN WV LA ME TN AR AZ CO SC NV AK & OH! Get in touch & ask ’em to call Congress re Trumpcare. They can be Democrats, Republicans or Independents – we’re all going to be hurt by the bill in the Senate now. Ask them to remind their Senators about the issues they care about: pre-existing conditions, seniors, medicare, whatever.
7. Go a step further: when you call a Senator’s office, ask to speak to the Health Staffer. Here are their names:
8. These staffers are human beings. They work on health care because they care about health. Even if their bosses don’t. Tell your story. What we want is for health staffers to be telling their bosses that they’ve spent all day with the phone from freaked-out constituents.
9. Another step further: Ask the health staffer for a meeting before the vote with state staffers (or in DC, if you can come). Promise to bring a group. Bring a ton of people. Contact @MoveOn for help in putting a group together.
10. EMAIL the health staffers with your personal story. You can figure out their email addresses thusly: Staffer1stName.stafferLastname@SenatorLastName.senate.gov.
11. If you don’t get the meeting, no problem. You can still recruit a group & show up at Senators’ offices. Time to break out the signs.
12. Find the letters to the editor submission email address for local papers in your state & send them your story, mentioning your Senator.
Wickler concludes with this (quoting him, not paraphrasing here):
Finally, a Jewish note from me:
We are commanded: “Do not profit by the blood of your fellow [human being.]” In other words, save tax dollars on something else, not health care.
I have had the privilege of hearing the Rev. Dr. William Barber, Pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church, Disciples of Christ in Goldsboro, North Carolina. The Rev. Dr. Barber is the architect of the Forward Together Moral Movement that gained national acclaim with its Moral Monday protests at the North Carolina General Assembly in 2013. His website is Repairers of the Breach.
Rev. Dr. Barber does not mince words. He called for us to come together, as progressives, as people of faith, as people with moral character, as people who must act together. We may have differences, but we cannot afford to be divided. We have a moral imperative, a moral call to action, and act we must. We must:
We have a moral imperative, a moral call to action, and act we must.
A recording of the speech is here https://act.moveon.org/survey/readytoresist/ Rev. Dr. Barber begins speaking at about the 9 minute mark.
IndivisibleMT Resources Here
Up and at 'em. No moping. We did great.
We were never supposed to be this close. We were supposed to get destroyed.
A 6% loss, especially in light of Trump' s 20 pt win and the outside spending (we were outspent almost 10:1), is a moral victory.
Our candidate did NOT run to the center. He ran on a clear progressive stand. I say again - He ran to the LEFT and was successful.
Look at what we learned. We put together a ground game, we trained canvassers and phone bankers and event planners. We had a scrimmage to get tuned up, and to figure out what we can do better next time. Because there IS a next time. We need to crank all this up again in less than 12 months.
Start where you are.
Use what you have.
Do what you can.
Yep, the United States is a yuuuuge mess. We have Russian agents all over the Administration. Economic inequality continues to get worse. Health care as we know it may be done. The planet is warming faster than any of the models. North Korea keeps threatening nuclear war. It’s too much for any one of us to fix. But you know what? No single one of us has to. We just have to do what we can do. And what we can do is save Montana first.
Start where you are.
Use what you have.
Do what you can.
Start where you are.
Use what you have.
Do what you can.
We are going to need every single seat we can get in the US House of Representatives. That’s not just a midterm issue, it’s a right now thing. RIGHT NOW. We have to flip this seat. I don’t care if Quist is your favorite Democratic candidate or not (Disclosure: He’s not my favorite.). That really does not matter. He is not Greg Gianforte. So you have to vote for him. You can’t sit this one out, and you can’t cast a protest vote. Suck it up, buttercup.
Your country needs you. Your planet needs you.
Don't get mad. Flip the seat. Go vote to put a Montana cowboy in the House, not some billionaire who doesn't even like Montana.
Early Voting is open until the day of the special election (Thursday, May 25). Head on over to your county early voting location, fill out an application for a one-time absentee ballot, fill out the ballot, seal it, hand it back. Boom. Took me 8 minutes this afternoon. Would have taken 5 but I had some questions about the technology in use, and the election judge was chatty.
Our friends over at Big Sky Rising are compiling a list of the early voting location for every county in Montana HERE.
NOT VOTING is voting to hand your power over, to throw it away and give it to somebody whose interests are going to be harmful to your own.
REGISTER! Today (Tuesday, April 25th is the close of regular voter registration for the Special Election. You must complete, sign, and mail your Montana Voter Registration form and have it postmarked by this date. After Tuesday you will have to go to your county elections site to register.
Request an absentee ballot. if that''s easier for you.