Posted: Jan 30, 2013 6:47 PM by Marnee Banks - MTN News
Governor Steve Bullock will address a joint session of the Legislature on Wednesday, January 30, 2013, beginning at 7 p.m.
Since he is speaking to a Legislature controlled by Republicans Bullock is expected to make an appeal to the other side of the aisle.
David Parker, a political science professor at Montana State University, observed, "If he wants to accomplish anything he has got to find some common ground and pick off a coalition of Republican legislators that could help him. So he is going to reach out and part of the way he is going to reach out is by talking about this property tax relief.
Bullock is proposing to give every homeowner in Montana a property tax rebate of $400; Parker said, "He says, 'Look, I will give you property tax relief but you are going to have to help on these other issues that are important.'"
Republicans will be looking for plans that reduce spending and cut taxes while Democrats will be waiting to hear about issues like Medicaid expansion, education funding, and pay raises for state employees.
Parker said, "I think he is going to bring up the pay issue. He talked a lot about it during the campaign and frankly it was one of the things that was critical for Democrats in the state of Montana but also nationally was labor union assistance to win elections. That was definitely true here in Montana, so certainly these groups that help the election are going to be asking for their items and one of those big items is pay."
We will have a full report on the 10 p.m. show.