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Kansas tax experiment of 2012 offers a cautionary tale for Montana

In 2012, Governor Sam Brownback convinced the Kansas Legislature to enact sweeping tax cut legislation. The plan was billed as a “shot of adrenaline to the heart of the Kansas economy.” As a Republican member of the Kansas House of Representatives at the time, I was intrigued by the proposal but worried it was “too far, too fast.”  What was the plan to pay for the tax cuts? The pitch was that the cuts would pay for themselves, but they failed to assess the negative effect that governmental downsizing might produce. Back in 2012, the Kansas budget was healthy but austere as we emerged from the great recession of 2008. A significant budget surplus was on hand t...


Issues about taxes needs clarified

The Valley Journal re-printed an informational article from the Montana Free Press newspaper on Feb. 10 related to Lake County’s attempt to have the Temporary Tribal Tax Exemption statute repealed by the 2021 legislature. I would like to clarify some of the points raised in the article. The Temporar...


Tax reform bills will help Montana businesses

After 16 years of Democrat governors running state government, Montana is in serious need of tax reform to help Montana businesses create good-paying jobs and encourage investment and entrepreneurship in the Treasure State.   Our new governor, Greg Gianforte, is prioritizing updating and reforming Mo...


Montana, independent courts, Montanans’ rights under attack

Our state and the way of life we have enjoyed for decades is in danger of being lost. With a new governor and new legislature in session, it is vital Montana citizens are aware of the harmful actions occurring right now in Helena: politicizing our courts, substantially remaking state government, diminishing ...


Gun tax supports wildlife, world class hunting

The Montana Legislature is leveling one of the most aggressive attacks on public hunters we’ve ever seen under the guise of protecting gun rights.  HJ 5, sponsored by Rep. Brad Tschida, R-Lolo, states that taxing firearms is unconstitutional, and unenforceable. Apparently, Rep. Tschida and supp...


Ben there DONE that

Vitamins are essential to our health and wellbeing. We acquire the majority of these vitamins through the foods we eat; however, there is one vitamin that we get from the sun. A deficiency of this essential nutrient can be disastrous, and yet, somehow a group of people living in a place with too little sun f...


SBA empowers Black entrepreneurs across Montana

As we celebrate the 45th anniversary of Black History Month, it is fitting to acknowledge that small business owners are some of the strongest, most resilient people you will ever meet. With the COVID-19 pandemic still affecting communities large and small nationwide, its impact has been felt in every sector...


Pro-gun means pro-responsibility: oppose HB102

Like so many Montanans, I grew up with a rifle in one hand and a shotgun in the other.  I converted my love of shooting into a 25-year career in the firearms industry. I helped build an iconic international gun company. I sold millions of guns. I’ve won awards, even been a finalist for the &ldq...


Senator shares background on SB 115

Greetings from Helena. During the last couple weeks, I’ve had two pieces of legislation generate well over 1,500 emails or messages to me either in support or opposition. One of those bills was SB 111 that would allow disabled hunters to use crossbows during archery season and the other was SB 115. ...


Bell ringing success continues through pandemic

We would like to thank all of the individuals, organizations and businesses who so willingly gave of their time to “ring the bell” for the Salvation Army’s Kettle Campaign. This was a very different year for the Kettle Campaign – the coronavirus changed our lifestyles and thinking abo...


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