Steenson’s Bill Supporting Stimulus Passes With Little Flathead Support

By Beacon Staff

Kalispell Democratic Rep. Cheryl Steenson’s resolution urging the U.S. Congress to pass a federal stimulus plan passed the state House Tuesday on 52-48 vote. While resolutions don’t enact any laws, the bill failed to garner much support from local Republicans, which the Flathead Democratic Party is pointing out on its Web site (see screen grab above).

Below is House Joint Resolution 12, which is co-sponsored by Rep. Jeffrey Welborn, R-Dillon, and includes references to Flathead County businesses:

HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 12

INTRODUCED BY STEENSON, ANKNEY, AUGARE, DI. BARRETT, P. BECK, BECKER, BELCOURT, BERGREN, BLASDEL, BLEWETT, BOLAND, BOSS RIBS, CAFERRO, CAMPBELL, COHENOUR, DICKENSON, DRISCOLL, EBINGER, FLEMING, FRENCH, FUREY, GETZ, GRINDE, HAMILTON, HANDS, HENRY, HINER, HOLLENBAUGH, HUNTER, JOPEK, KOTTEL, MACDONALD, MALEK, MCALPIN, MCCHESNEY, MENAHAN, NOONEY, O’HARA, PEASE-LOPEZ, PHILLIPS, POMNICHOWSKI, REINHART, ROBERTS, ROUNDSTONE, SANDS, SESSO, STAHL, WILMER, WELBORN

A JOINT RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MONTANA URGING THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS TO ENACT LEGISLATION TO CREATE JOBS AND ADVANCE ECONOMIC RECOVERY.

WHEREAS, the United States Congress is in the process of enacting legislation to create jobs and advance economic recovery to put Montanans and Americans back to work; and

WHEREAS, the federal jobs and economic recovery legislation should be drafted with input and adequate oversight from state, local, and tribal governments; and

WHEREAS, federal funds invested in Montana’s infrastructure will lay the foundation for long-term economic growth, boost business, create jobs, and put Montanans to work now and in the future; and

WHEREAS, the national economic downturn is adversely affecting Montana’s economy; and

WHEREAS, Montana’s unemployment rate increased to 4.9% in November 2008, and in December 2008, the Columbia Falls Aluminum Company notified approximately 200 employees that the plant will be shutting down, while in January 2009, Semitool Incorporated laid off about 200 employees in Northwest Montana communities; and

WHEREAS, Plum Creek Timber Company recently eliminated more than 140 jobs and laid off more than 200 workers, and the Montana timber and wood products industries continue to decline; and

WHEREAS, in order for workers to take advantage of jobs created by the federal legislation, Montanans will need education and training; and

WHEREAS, Montana rural hospitals will need help to be able to afford electronic recordkeeping, while continuing to attract and keep jobs in rural communities; and

WHEREAS, the development of Montana’s abundant energy resources, both conventional and renewable, will create a significant number of long-term jobs while helping lead the nation in the effort to free America from the grip of foreign oil.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:

That the Montana Legislature urges the United States Congress to pass its jobs and economic recovery legislation to create jobs in Montana and across the nation through the funding of critical infrastructure projects, including bridge and roads projects, energy development efforts, water and sewer system projects, school and university building projects, energy conservation projects in public buildings, and hospital technology improvements.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Secretary of State send copies of this resolution to the President of the United States, the President and Minority Leader of the United States Senate, the Speaker and the Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives and the Montana Congressional Delegation.

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