State economic developers urge legislators, governor to jointly address budget situation
The following statement was unanimously approved by the board of directors of the Montana Economic Developers Association and sent to Governor Bullock and legislative leadership.
The Montana Economic Developers Association (MEDA), representing professional economic and community development practitioners across Montana, is deeply concerned about Montana’s biennial budget situation. Our concerns are diverse, but center around the adverse impact that proposed budget cuts would have on the communities we serve.
Economically vibrant communities, be they large or small, depend on a genuine, reliable partnership with state government. This partnership is essential to assure that adequate investment in public resources are in place to help make Montana a topnotch place to start or expand a business, be attractive to private investment and create an environment that is nurturing to people and families. Unfortunately, given Montana’s budget projections and fire season expenses, MEDA is concerned these services that our communities rely on from state government will be compromised.
MEDA strongly urges the executive and legislative branches of the State of Montana to work cooperatively, and with dispatch, to develop a realistic solution to the current budget crisis. We believe any budget solution must include careful consideration of both expenditure reductions and revenue enhancements, avoiding across-the-board cuts.
As economic development practitioners, we work daily to expand Montana’s economy and grow our tax base. Having our state be in a competitive economic position is paramount to achieving these critical goals, as is solving the State of Montana’s current budget difficulties. It is for these reasons, in addition to the other attractive qualities the State of Montana offers in support of entrepreneurship, that we also affirm our strong support for state-funded business resources that help grow the private sector and create jobs for residents in our state, and why we believe it is critical these resources remain available going forward.
Resolution of the current biennial budget situation is essential to the continued economic health of the State of Montana.