Senate Bill 442 Helps Protect What Makes Montana Special

The upkeep of roads across our state is in the best interest of us all

By Jane Hamilton

I moved to Montana to be close to mountains, lakes, rivers, and a wide array of healthy public lands. I’ve worked closely with non-profits to maintain public lands, especially trail systems throughout my lifetime. A healthy public lands system benefits all Montanans, by keeping our water and air clean and giving us beautiful places to visit and bond over. I’m grateful that our public lands stretch across the state, supporting rural and urban areas alike. This year I’m aiming to visit more of the rural areas than I have in the past, and I’ll definitely use county roads to get there. The argument that tax revenues contributed by residents of urban counties in our state, such as Flathead County, shouldn’t be used to support the upkeep of roads in our rural counties is preposterous. The upkeep of roads across our state is in the best interest of us all. Legislators seemingly understood that when they voted heartily to overwhelmingly pass Senate Bill 442 last year. May they put aside this new, silly argument that this bill is a veiled wealth redistribution mechanism. I support the use of my tax dollars to maintain our rural roads and fund our public lands – from Kalispell to Ekalaka. Flathead legislators: please stand up and support this bill that keeps our main reasons for living here intact.

Jane Hamilton