Steve Bullock in 2017 Governor's State of the State speeches


On Budget & Economy: Veto any budget in the red

I am hopeful that the Legislature now appreciates that my insistence on leaving a $300-million ending fund balance isn't just whimsy. It's what Montanans expect. It is why, even in the face of declining commodity prices over these past two years, our bond ratings remain high--and you all got to stay home between sessions.

In 2013, you learned I will veto spending if you send me a budget that's in the red. In 2015, we crafted a budget together that worked for Montana, and that left money in the bank for rainy days. I ask you to do that again.

And just as I insist you balance our budget and leave money in the bank, I will insist that our state agencies be as careful with the money they are given as Montana families are with their own. That's why, even before the Legislature came to town, we trimmed $102 million dollars of spending. That's why, even after the Legislature leaves town, I will continue to challenge our agencies to be careful stewards of hard-working families' tax dollars.

Source: 2017 State of the State address to Montana Legislature Jan 24, 2017

On Education: Increase funding for higher education

We have much to be pleased with when it comes to our wise investments in higher education.
Source: 2017 State of the State address to Montana Legislature Jan 24, 2017

On Education: Invest in publicly funded early childhood education

It's time to follow the lead of 45 other states that have done it already, and invest in publicly funded early childhood education. My administration and local districts have made progress for our four-year olds these past four years, in spite of--not as a result of--this body. Last year, more than 650 children were able to access high quality preschool their parents otherwise might not have been able to afford.

The average cost of childcare in Montana for a four-year old is $7,900 dollars--in other words, more than college tuition at Montana State University or the University of Montana. A mom earning minimum wage could easily spend half of her income on childcare for just one kiddo.

Let's help those families. I have proposed a $12 million preschool grant program to allow school districts, Head Start programs or high-quality private preschool providers to offer preschool for four-year-old kids at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level.

Source: 2017 State of the State address to Montana Legislature Jan 24, 2017

On Families & Children: Don't cut workers from Child and Family Services Division

It doesn't make sense to me that you have proposed to cut workers from our Child and Family Services Division--the people on the front lines of helping kids in harm's way; or that you would propose to slash the funding to community nursing homes, that care for those depending on our help.

It also doesn't make sense to me, or to most Montanans, that someone making $9 dollars an hour pays the same tax rate as someone making $250 dollars an hour--especially when the alternative is to cut vital services for our citizens. Increasing the top tax rate for any income over a half a million dollars, and other modest revenue proposals before you, are fair. I ask that you give them fair consideration--and then pass them.

Source: 2017 State of the State address to Montana Legislature Jan 24, 2017

The above quotations are from 2017 Governor's State of the State speeches.
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Page last updated: Feb 24, 2017