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Kids Count Report: How Montana’s Children Measure UP

It seems like blogging best practices suggests including cute pictures whenever possible. We couldn’t agree more since our work tends to be a bit on the dry side. Today’s post involves kids, and this little guy looks like the kind who would appreciate the data we are about to present.

Original Author: 
M

Wonky Word Wednesdays: Appropriation

Deciding how the state invests our tax dollars is critical to how our state supports its citizens and improves our overall economy. It is this part of the process – who receives what and why – that makes the legislature so fascinating (at least for geeks like me).  With that in mind, let’s tackle one of the most important and most used words of the budget process – appropriation.
What does appropriation mean?

Original Author: 
M

Glacier National Park: A Smart Public Investment

The Montana Budget and Policy Center advocates using our tax dollars to invest in infrastructure and policies that create jobs and boost our state economy. Glacier National Park is a great example of a smart investment. Not only is it my favorite place to visit, but also according to a news report yesterday, Glacier generated $179 million in economic benefit in 2013.

Original Author: 
M

Protested Taxes: Local Communities Left in Limbo

Last week, the Montana Department of Revenue announced a settlement agreement with Verizon Wireless related to how the Department would value Verizon’s property for calculating property taxes.  This settlement, along with the recent agreement between the Department and Charter Communications, meant the release of tens of millions of dollars in tax revenue to schoo

Original Author: 
M

Wonky Word Wednesdays: Protested Taxes

As you may remember, the Montana Budget and Policy Center was heavily involved in the push against I-172 – the Charter Communications ballot initiative. We even did one of our first wonky words on centrally assessed property taxes to help explain the issue.

Original Author: 
M

“Getting by” Without a Bank

The Atlantic just published a great article on how difficult it is to handle money issues when you are poor. When You’re Poor, Money Is Expensive raises important questions about the role of traditional banks in our country and how complicated “getting by” can be.

Original Author: 
M

Wonky Words Wednesdays: General Fund

Did you know that the Montana Office of Budget Program and Planning (OBPP) is in full budget planning for the next Legislative Session in 2015? In order to get everyone up to speed by January, I decided that we need to start working our way though the numerous wonky words contained within the Montana state budget. Aren’t you excited?

Original Author: 
M

State Tribal Colleges: An Important Investment

Investing state funds in tribal colleges is a smart use of state dollars. Tribal colleges benefit our state by providing a quality, affordable higher education to students regardless of race. The tribal college system in Montana stimulates our economy and increases the pool of individuals who are trained and ready for work. 

Original Author: 
M

Wonky Word Wednesdays: Nonbeneficiary

One of the things I love about Montana is the incredible American Indian culture that surrounds us. It is more than Crow Fair, the Arlee Pow-wow, and North American Indian Days in Browning. It is the names of towns and land across the state. It is the rich history and philosophy that makes our state so exceptional. Each of the 12 unique tribal groups provides us with a culture that adds to the beauty of our state. One significant example of these contributions to our state is the system of tribal colleges. It is with this in mind we announce our wonky word  – nonbeneficiary.

Original Author: 
M

On the Blog: US vs Belgium

Last week, we watched US play Germany and throughout the match discussed the various scenarios that would allow us to move on to the knockout bracket. Fortunately, USA made it! So we thought we would make the country comparisons a series as long as the US continues to stay alive at the World Cup. 
So on to our next head to head – US vs. Belgium.
Beer

Original Author: 
M