Montana 2011 Legislature

Feb 21, 2011 6:35 PM by Marnee Banks

Hundreds gather in Helena to protest budget cuts

Several hundred people rallied at the Capitol steps in Helena on Monday afternoon to urge the Legislature to stop cutting funding for public employees and their programs.

The Rally to Save Public Services and Education was co-organized by the Montana Education Association-Montana Federation of Teachers, and the Montana Organizing Project.

People traveled from all across the state to send a clear message to lawmakers, with speaker after speaker echoing the same message, asking lawmakers to reverse cuts to education, human services, and public safety.

Eric Feaver, president of the MEA-MFT, said, "State employees helped bail this state out when it came to it's fiscal difficulties over the last biennium. Now that our financial house is in order, it's time for the state to provide a minimal increase to state employees. That's what we're here about."

Feaver says that cumulative decisions during committee hearings and floor sessions have resulted in more than $1-billion dollars in cuts from the governor's proposed budget.

One of those proposed cuts would be to close the state veterans home in Columbia Falls.

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