Montana is missing out on millions of dollars every day, in addition to thousands of jobs, by not expanding the state’s Medicaid program so more Montanans can gain health coverage.
On January 1, 2014, the federal government made funds available to states that choose to expand their Medicaid programs. Because Montana’s legislature has so far refused to accept the federal funds and extend Medicaid coverage to as many as 70,000 low-income individuals, Montana has been losing as much as $1.84 million of federal funds every day.
On Tax Day, we all spend some extra time thinking about how much we pay in taxes. Even more so for low- and middle-income families, who contribute a larger share of their income than high income people do. The difference is significant – Montana low-income families pay 6.4% of their income in taxes, compared to 4.7% of the wealthiest Montanans.
April 7, 2014 | Montana Budget and Policy Center
One of the nation’s largest providers of communications services wants Montana voters to give the company what it couldn’t get in court – a change in status that likely would lower Charter Communications’ tax bill while raising property taxes for Montana homeowners and small businesses.
Last month, Charter filed paperwork with the state to pursue putting an initiative on the November ballot that would cut the Stamford, Connecticut-based firm’s Montana property tax rate in half.
Hard-working women across the state of Montana are trying to solve a mystery. From every dollar in every paycheck women are bringing home for a hard day’s work, thirty-three cents are missing.
So the women started looking around.
“Nothing is missing,” Montana working women were told. “You chose to leave it behind – by working in the field you do, by taking the job you did, and by raising a family for those few years. Look again. You’ll find it.”
So they looked again.
Montana is a great place to live, work, and play. Visitors from every corner of the planet come to explore our rivers, mountain valleys, and world class skiing. How can Montana transform these eco-tourists into place-loving residents?
With more and more sessions drawing to a close, the latest count shows 15 states that have rejected expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, 20 that have agreed to comply with the law and expand coverage, and the rest still debating expansion. In many states -- including Florida and Ohio -- that debate is playing out in a contentious intramural fight among conservatives themselves. Conservative governors supporting expansion are running into opposition from ideologically opposed lawmakers in their own party, as the political debate over Medicaid increasingly appears to be taking place entirely on one side of the aisle:
Taxes are on the minds of many this week as April 15th approaches. They're also on the minds of many conservative governors -- in states such as Louisiana, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Nebraska -- who have seen their radical tax proposals to further enrich corporations and the wealthy run into major resistance from voters, businesses, and even conservative lawmakers. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, who this week withdrew his regressive plan that would have eliminated the state income tax while raising the sales tax, has seen his standing drop sharply in the polls. In the run up to Tax Day, increasing attention is being focused on how tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations increase burdens on the middle class.
With the long lines on Election Day still somewhat fresh in the minds of voters, and as the year kicks off with efforts to rig the electoral vote and lessen the impact of the votes of historically disenfranchised communities, lawmakers in some states are introducing proposals to expand and protect the vote:
This fall, voters in some states and cities will have the chance to do more than just push back. Initiatives are on the ballot that would directly confront the destruction that austerity economics has wrought on communities, while building national momentum behind policies to revitalize our economy and protect our democracy. All kinds of issues are at stake, from workers’ rights to corporate influence in politics, to whether corporations and the luckiest few will pay their fair share in taxes. While voters will be electing a president, governors, Congress, and thousands of state legislators this November 6, here are a few places where a progressive vision will also be on the ballot: