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Montana now has an official transparency portal where citizens can track their tax dollars, including who got paid what and why. The portal is at www.transparency.mt.gov.
"The state website came as a complete surprise, albeit a nice one," said Carl Graham, whose organization, Montana Policy Institute, (MPI) fought long and hard to get such a site. A successful bill, which would have done so, during the last legislative session was vetoed by Gov. Brian Schweitzer. MPI later fought a successful court battle against the state, to get the public information needed to launch their own site, www.opengovmt.org. MPI may be able to close its site, now, hinted Graham.
In an attempt to protect their pension funds, taxpayers and financial stability, the states of Alabama, Georgia, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Texas and West Virginia have joined a major lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
These states are asking the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to join the suit in order to challenge the validity of the Orderly Liquidation Authority, established under Title II of Dodd-Frank. If permitted, these states would join the three states already in the lawsuit—Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Michigan — as well as three private plaintiffs: the State National Bank of Big Spring, Texas; the 60 Plus Association; and the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
A recent Gallup survey concluded that Alabama is the most conservative state (50.6 percent of people surveyed identified themselves as such).
Massachusetts was the most liberal (at 30.5 percent), excluding Washington DC, which far exceeded all states as most liberal (40.8 percent).
"Making and Taking Montana to the World" is the theme for Manufacturing & Trade Day at the Capitol, Thursday, April 4, from 10 am to 1:30 pm. The Capitol Rotunda has been reserved for displays, information, and lunch to celebrate and promote the importance of manufacturing and international trade to Montana's economy. Various manufacturers and exporters and their advocates will attend and Governor Steve Bullock is expected to name Montana's "Exporter of the Year".
The MSU Family Business Program "On the Road" will be in Billings on May 11, at MSU Billings, 3-5 p.m. "Understanding the Future Customer" will be presented by James Oakley, associate professor of marketing in the College of Business at MSU. The event is free and is presented in 11 Montana Communities, courtesy of sponsor, State Farm Insurance.
Oakley's program will focus on the changing landscape of customer interaction in the marketplace.
Floor debate in the Montana House of Representatives recently featured a major package of job-creation bills.
Speaker of the House Mark Blasdel said, "We're going to put Montanans to work with these bills. There are two different approaches to job creation. One is to try to create jobs by spending taxpayer dollars. But that's not the approach we're taking with these bills. We're working to create jobs by making life easier for Montana's businesses to hire people."
The Big Sky Business Journal
P.O. Box 3262
Billings, MT 59103