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A Helena district judge struck down a statute barring businesses from participating in state and local elections. The lawsuit was filed after the U.S. Supreme Court decided such prohibitions were against the First Amendment free speech protections in the U.S. Constitution.
SBA’s Montana District Office saw a 25 percent increase in loan activity from fiscal year 2009 to 2010 fiscal year (October 1, 2009 to September 30, 2010). The Montana District Office approved a total of 597 7(a) and 504 loans valued at $97 million for FY2010. This compares to 479 loans worth $78 million for the previous year.
District Director Michelle Johnston acknowledged that the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act had a definite impact.
A father and daughter concerned with runaway government spending started a group called Montana Shrugged in 2009. It organizes, educates, and activates people to promote the understanding and execution of the United States Constitution. Such activities, however, are heavily regulated in Montana and are banned if done by corporations.
Montana law bans any corporation from spending money to influence an election. The Supreme Court unequivocally declared in its recent Citizens United decision that states have no legitimate interest in such prohibitions. Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock, a defendant in this case, said "corporations aren't censored here." We agree, they cannot speak at all.
The minimum wage in Montana will increase from $7.25 per hour to $7.35 per hour on Jan. 1.
State law requires an adjustment to the minimum wage to be calculated no later than Sept. 30, of each year, said Labor Commissioner Keith Kelly.
The Big Sky Business Journal
P.O. Box 3262
Billings, MT 59103