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Montana’s agriculture community has proven that you don’t have to be a millionaire to make a difference—you just have to care.
When Montana State University’s new Animal Bioscience Building in Bozeman has its dedication it will do so because of an array of private donors. The dedication ceremony begins at 8:30 a.m. on Nov 6.
Some long-time state employees have accrued thousands of hours in unused time off that would in some cases pay them tens of thousands of dollars upon leaving their jobs, Montana Watchdog has learned.
One transportation department employee stands to receive a payout of more than $82,000 for his unused time as of Jan. 15, 2010, according to information provided by the Montana Department of Administration. Others in the list of top 10 accrued hours would receive lump-sum payments ranging from just more than $26,000 to around $70,000.
Montana ranks 30th nationwide in a new report by an online financial news service that looks at what it says are the best and worst run states in the country.
For the report, “The Best and Worst Run States in America: A Survey of All Fifty,” the staff at 24/7 Wall St. said they looked at data sets ranging from debt rating agency reports to violent crime rates, unemployment trends and median income. The best run state is Wyoming. The worst is Kentucky. North Dakota came in second and Iowa finished third. South Dakota finished 13th and Idaho was ranked as 28th. Montana’s ranking may seem surprising in that it is one of two states (the other being North Dakota) that does not have a budget deficit. “Among some of Montana’s important rankings are: Debt per Capita: $6,638 (19th); Unemployment Rate: 7.4% (14th); Home Price Change (’06 – ’09): 13.4% (eighth); and Median Household Income: $42,322 (43rd),” the chamber stated. “Montana unfortunately has the 46th lowest” GDP (gross domestic product) “per capita in the country, reportedly $27,952.” And Montana was 42nd in the number of uninsured.
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.
The Montana Manufacturing Extension Center at Montana State University recently received funding for the first year of a three-year project to train MMEC engineers and other engineers and technicians working for wind equipment manufacturing companies in Montana and elsewhere.
“Energy development is very important to Montana’s economic future. The capacity to manufacture components and equipment that produce energy can play a key role in this economic future. This grant will help Montana manufacturers participate in the wind energy and wind turbine industries,” said Steve Holland, MMEC director.
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.
The Big Sky Business Journal
P.O. Box 3262
Billings, MT 59103