Press Release: Montana State and Local Public Employees Earn 15 Percent More in Total Compensation Than Private Sector Workers

Press Release
11/8/2012
For Immediate Release
Contact:
Glenn Oppel, Policy Director
Montana Policy Institute
406-443-4205
Summary:

Decision makers and taxpayers often hear that public employees earn less than private sector workers. In Montana, the State Human Resources Division’s latest biennial salary survey enforces this impression, concluding that public employees earn 13.3 percent less than comparable private sector counterparts. But the salary survey suffers from weaknesses in its methodology, omitting fringe benefits, comparing employees of unequal skill and experience, and evaluating public sector occupations that have no private sector equivalent (e.g. firefighters.) A new analysis from the Montana Policy Institute uses rigorous statistical analysis to compare public and private employees of similar personal and professional characteristics. They also calculate the compensation value of various fringe benefits. MPI’s new report “Public Versus Private Sector Compensation in Montana” finds that public employees earn 15.4 percent more than private sector counterparts in total annual compensation.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Montana State and Local Public Employees Earn 15 Percent More in Total Compensation Than Private Sector Workers

Bozeman – In a year when most state legislatures were engaged in budgetary belt-tightening, Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer and public employee union representatives agreed to a pay plan package that would cost taxpayers $138 million. According to the agreement, each of the next two years state workers would receive both a five percent raise in pay and a 10 percent increase in the state contribution toward health insurance premiums. After the pay plan agreement was reached, a local representative of theAmerican Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) argued that it was necessary to “bring us closer to being compensated fairly with those in the private sector.”

“Union representatives would have the public accept as conventional wisdom their caricature of the underpaid public employee,” responded Glenn Oppel, MPI Policy Director, “but the data suggest that public employees are actually compensated far more generously than their private sector counterparts.”

Much of the perception that public employees fail to earn as much as private sector counterparts is fueled by standard compensation comparisons. The State Human Resources Division’s biennial salary survey is a case in point. Salary data culled for the survey is used to determine what the state calls the “market midpoint” of compensation for 750 occupations within stategovernment.According to the salary survey, state workers are earning on average 13.3 percent less than the market midpoint.

“The state’s salary survey unfortunately suffers from a weakness in methodology,” emphasized Mr. Oppel.

By relying on salary ranges for occupational categories, the state’s report has grossly oversimplified the compensation question. For instance, many positions in the public sector, such as correctional officers and fire fighters, have no private-sector equivalent. Additionally, employees within these categories are not interchangeable; some are more educated, some are older, some are more experienced. Comparing only occupational categories ignores all of this variation. An additional shortcoming in the salary survey is that it doesn’t include the value of employee benefits – health insurance, paid leave, pension, etc. – which make up a considerable portion of any worker’s compensation.

To facilitate a more accurate comparison, the Montana Policy Institute has released a report that uses the “human capital” approach to achieve apples-to-apples comparisons between public and private sector pay.

“Our report starts by using government data to compare public and private employees of similar personal and professional characteristics,” explained Mr. Oppel. “For instance, instead of comparing pay in broad occupational categories, we compare public and private employees of similar work experience, education, gender, race, and disability status. Additionally, we calculate the annual compensation value of fringe benefits on top of annual wages.”

The results of the analysis are telling. Whereas the state’s salary survey concludes that that average state employee is earning 13.3 percent less than the market midpoint, the MPI report shows that when comparing similar employees, state and local public employees are in a statistical dead-heat with their private sector counterparts in terms of take-home pay.

Where state and local public employees surpass private sector workers in total annual compensation is from their various fringe benefits. When compensation from fringe benefits is factored in, state and local public employees earn nearly 15.4 percent more in total annual compensation than comparable private sector workers.

“We encourage lawmakers and state analysts to take a close look at the methodology we use in our report,” suggested Mr. Oppel. “It more accurately compares total annual compensation between public and private sector workers in Montana, which can better inform the decision making process on the state pay plan legislation.”

The full report is available on the MPI web site at http://www.montanapolicy.org/2012/11/public-vs-private-sector-compensation-in-montana-study-2012/.

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The Montana Policy Institute is an independent, nonprofit policy research center based in Bozeman. It provides analysis and information to encourage individual freedom, personal responsibility, and free markets in Montana.

Montana Policy Institute
67 W Kagy Blvd, Ste. B
Bozeman, MT 59715
406-219-0508
MPI is a Montana tax exempt corporation operated exclusively for the public benefit.  No substantial part of the activities of the Institute are used for the carrying on of propaganda or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, promote any political campaign, or on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office.

Immediate Release: Study ranks MT cities on business friendliness

Press Release
9/23/2012
For Immediate Release
Contact:
Glenn Oppel, Policy Director
Montana Policy Institute
406-431-3685
goppel@montanapolicy.org

Summary:
The Montana Policy Institute and American Indicators ranked the business friendliness of 25 cities across Montana based on three categories: 1) economic vitality; 2) tax burden on businesses; and 3) community allure. Factors included in the economic vitality category include recent job growth, residential population growth from 2010 to 2011, population growth from 2000 to 2010, and median per-capita income. Business tax burden focuses on the property tax in each locality. Finally, factors measured in community allure include the cost of living index, per-capita violent crime rates, percent of adults age 25 or older with at least a high school diploma, and average Criterion-Referenced Test (CRT) scores for all high schools in incorporates areas. The overall most business friendly city is Polson, with Glasgow and Sidney very close behind. For the top tier of largest cities, Bozeman took the top spot and fourth overall. The full report is available at www.mtpolicy.org.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Montana Cities Ranked On Business Friendliness

Bozeman, MT – The Montana Policy Institute and American Indicators have released a ranking of the economic vitality, business tax burden, and community allure of Montana’s 25 largest cities, providing an index of the measures most sought after by businesses. Polson tops the list, while Anaconda ranks lowest overall.

The report also breaks the cities into five population tiers, with Bozeman heading the largest city rankings and Glasgow leading the smallest group by population.

“Cities and towns are the real engines that drive the statewide economy and we compare how business friendly they are,” according to Glenn Oppel, MPI’s Policy Director. “Businesses that want to start up or relocate in Montana will not only look at the state’s business climate but also stack localities up against each other. Cities that are more welcoming to job creators and their families will obviously have an edge.”

The rankings use several criteria to measure the business climate of each city: tax policy; community allure, including cost of living and crime rate; year-over-year population and job growth; and economic vitality, including average incomes.

“We wanted to make sure that we conducted a comprehensive comparison of cities around the state,” emphasized Oppel. “That’s why we included both large and small, as well as western and eastern, cities in our comparison.”

The western Montana town of Polson takes the prize for the most business-friendly town in the state, with two eastern cities – Glasgow and Sidney – very close behind.

Ranked by size, Bozeman was the most business-friendly city in the top-tier of the largest cities, beating out Billings, Great Falls, Missoula, and Butte in that order. Havre edged out Kalispell, Helena, and Miles City in the second tier. Belgrade topped out the third tier, and Polson and Glasgow topped out the fourth and fifth tiers, respectively.

Oppel pointed out that MPI plans to publish this study on an annual basis to track the business friendly progress of the various cities and see how various policies affect job growth and community well-being.

The full report is available at www.montanapolicy.org.

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The Montana Policy Institute is an independent, nonprofit policy research center based in Bozeman. It provides analysis and information to encourage individual freedom, personal responsiblity, and free markets in Montana.

Montana Policy Institute
67 W Kagy Blvd, Ste. B
Bozeman, MT 59715
406-219-0508
info@montanapolicy.org
www.montanapolicy.org

MPI is a Montana tax exempt corporation operated exclusively for the public benefit. No substantial part of the activities of the Institute are used for the carrying on of propaganda or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, promote any political campaign, or on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office.

Press Release: Mandatory Wage Hikes Accelerate Montana Teen Unemployment

Press Release
8/3/2012
For Immediate Release
Contact:
Glenn Oppel
Montana Policy Institute
406-443-4205
Summary:
The Montana Policy Institute announces the release of updated research data on the unemployment effects of minimum wage increases on working-age teens in Montana. The unemployment rate for working-age teens has nearly doubled since 2006 and fewer are actually entering the workforce. Controlling for the job-killing effects of the recession, the research estimates that nearly 1,200 jobs were lost because of state minimum wage increases from 2005 to 2011. Unemployment rates for teens are likely to rise in coming years as the recession persists and the state minimum wage increases annually.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Mandatory Wage Hikes Accelerate Montana Teen Unemployment

Contact:

Glenn Oppel, Policy Director

Montana Policy Institute

(406) 443-4205

Helena – A recently released study indicates that the state’s nearly 50% minimum wage hike since 2005 has resulted in about 1,200 fewer teen jobs, even after taking into account impacts of the recession.

The Montana Policy Institute released those findings in a study examining the effects of higher labor costs on low skilled workers in the state. The study controls for job losses due to the recession and finds that, as the minimum wage increases, employers are less likely to hire teen workers with fewer skills or lower education levels.

“Simple economics dictates that when the cost of something goes up, people will buy less of it,” according to Carl Graham, CEO of the Montana Policy Institute. “Mandatory increases in our state’s minimum wage hurt the very people, those who are just starting out or starting over, that we’re trying to help by reducing the overall number of jobs available.”

Teen employment in Montana is at historical highs. Census Bureau data shows an almost doubling from 10.2 percent in 2006 to 19.4 percent in 2011. Average weekly hours fell 34 percent, from 12.1 to 8 hours,during that same period. Not surprisingly, the percentage ofMontana teenagers employed also declined, from 48.2 percent in 2006 to 36.6 percent in 2011.

Montana’s minimum wage is currently $7.65 per hour, 12th highest in the nation, and one of just 10 that is indexed to inflation. Another increase to $7.80 is likely to go into effect in January, further increasing the costs of employing low skilled workers.

“The Montana Legislature does have options that will encourage employers to put teens to work by getting closer to the market wage,” emphasized Graham. “Ideally, they can repeal the expected state minimum wage of $7.80 starting in 2013 and default to the federal minimum of $7.25. If that’s not possible, they should at least suspend the inflation index that imposes annual increases even during periods of high unemployment.”

The full study is available at www.montanapolicy.org.

 

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The Montana Policy Institute is an independent, nonprofit policy research center based in Bozeman.  It provides analysis and information to encourage individual freedom, personal responsiblity, and free markets in Montana.

Montana Policy Institute
67 W Kagy Blvd, Ste. B
Bozeman, MT 59715
406-219-0508
MPI is a Montana tax exempt corporation operated exclusively for the public benefit.  No substantial part of the activities of the Institute are used for the carrying on of propaganda or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, promote any political campaign, or on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office.

New Website Provides State Employee Pay

Bozeman — Despite a two-year pay freeze, average state employee salaries and benefits have increased faster than the rate of inflation since 2004.

This and other findings are available in a new website, opengovmt.org, created by the Bozeman-based nonprofit Montana Policy Institute.

Pay data in the website was handed over by the state following a long legal battle and provides individual pay information for all state employees along with summary statistics in a variety of areas, including employee demographics, average compensation values, union membership, and funding sources.

According to MPI president Carl Graham, site users can review salary information for employees based on name, location, department, and many other criteria.

“The site is nonjudgmental about whether the numbers are too high, too low, or just right” said Graham. “But it does put the lie to recent statements that state employee pay has been frozen.”

According to site data, the real (after inflation) average increase in compensation was nearly 11 percent between 2004 and 2011, with the largest increases going to those making over $75,000 per year.

Compensation is likely to be a hot issue for the 2013 Legislature after it failed to ratify a pay raise for state workers in 2011. Lawmakers will be expected to vote on a recently announced 5 percent increase negotiated between public employee unions and the Schweitzer administration.

“This type of data should place everybody on an equal footing” added Graham. “Legislators and taxpayers have a right to know what their employees are paid, and that information simply was not available until now.”

Following nearly two years of open records request refusals by the state, MPI recently won a lawsuit demanding actual pay data for each state employee. That data is now available to the public at no cost on the opengovmt.org transparency portal along with detailed school revenue and spending information.

 

Contact:

Carl Graham

CEO

Montana Policy Institute

(406) 219-0508

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For July 11th, 2012 Release

 

For an interview with Montana Policy Institute’s Carl Graham call (406) 219-0508 or email info@montanapolicy.org.

The Montana Policy Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan policy research center based in Bozeman. To find out more visit us on the web at www.montanapolicy.org or contact us at 406-219-0508.

 

Bozeman Nonprofit Head to Discuss Montana’s Economic Future

Bozeman Nonprofit Head to Discuss Montana’s Economic Future

Contact:

Jaimie Gilbertson

Operations/Communications Asst

Montana Policy Institute

(406) 219-0508

 

Bozeman — Carl Graham, CEO of the Montana Policy Institute, a free market-oriented policy research center based in Bozeman, will be in Glendive Wednesday, April 18th to discuss Montana’s economy and economic future.

The Montana Policy Institute has conducted extensive research comparing the state’s economy and economic development to that of its neighbors and found Montana to be lagging in most key indicators of future success.

The presentation will focus on barriers to prosperity in the state across a variety of policy and regulatory areas, and offer alternative options to revive Montana’s economic future and put the “Treasure” back in the Treasure State.

The talk will be held from noon until 1:00pm at the Cottonwood Inn in Glasgow. Cost is $15 and includes lunch. Register online at www.mtpolicy.org, or call MPI at 219-0508.

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For Immediate Release

For an interview with Montana Policy Institute’s Carl Graham call (406) 219-0508 or email info@montanapolicy.org.

The Montana Policy Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan policy research center based in Bozeman. To find out more visit us on the web at www.montanapolicy.org or contact us at 406-219-0508.

 

MPI Public Employee Poll Release

Contact:

Carl Graham

President

Montana Policy Institute

(406) 219-0508

Bozeman — States continue to grapple with the three-year fiscal crisis that has involved intense battles over everything from public employee pensions and benefits to collective bargaining. On September 20, 2011, at a conference headlined by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, the Manhattan Institute presented the first comprehensive national poll voter attitudes on public sector unions and state budgets, conducted by pollster Douglas E. Schoen. The results show widespread bipartisan support for reforms that decrease spending and that do not increase taxes.

In addition, Montana Policy Institute provided specific questions for the poll to dig a little deeper for voter opinions in a state with strong fiscally conservative credentials but also a history of public support for unions.

Montana voters differ somewhat from national averages with less support for reducing certain benefits and reforming pension systems for current and future public employees to help resolve state fiscal problems. But they strongly oppose measures to increases taxes in order to balance state budgets and do not feel that the current system adequately represents taxpayer interests.

“The Montana results are predictably split about public sector unions’ role in budget shortfalls and how much and what types of reforms are needed. But it’s clear that voters want to hold the line on taxes, empower state government workers to have more control over their retirement benefits, and see taxpayer interests better represented at the bargaining table,” said Montana Policy Institute president Carl Graham.

The results paint a vivid picture of how both Democrats and Republicans can move forward on legislation and the restructuring of union contracts as they battle shrinking revenues in their states.

Poll results show:

Voters are mixed in their attitudes about the need to cut state spending and reduce benefits for current and future public employees, but not for retirees. Voters strongly resist any tax increases.

•A majority of voters, 52 percent, reject the idea of paying more taxes to keep public employee benefits at their present levels if Montana faces budget problems.

•A similar majority, 56%, reject the idea of accepting service cuts to keep public employee benefits at their current levels if Montana faces budget problems.

•However, by a margin of 65 percent in favor to 29 percent in opposition, voters say that retirees should not have to contribute more towards their pension and health care benefits because of budget problems.

Voters also believe that the basis of the entire public employee pension system needs to be dramatically reformed.

•A strong majority, 72%, of voters favor giving current public employees a choice between participating in a defined contribution plan or a defined benefit plan.

•An even larger majority, 79%, favor empowering state employees with more flexibility to increase their pension investment choice and portability.

•Most voters, 56%, would like to see public employees moved from a defined benefit to a defined contribution plan.

Voters are prepared to accept some restrictions on collective bargaining to address fiscal problems. There is also evidence that voters view some of the outcomes from the collective bargaining process as counter-productive to a well-functioning public service, as demonstrated by the fact that voters see teacher tenure as a hindrance to improving public education.

•A majority of 51 percent say that public employee unions gain too much influence when they lobby for and help elect the same officials with whom they will bargain for wages and benefits.

•While Montana voters are split on the need for collective bargaining with public workers, sixty nine percent say that taxpayers are not being adequately and fairly represented by state government in collective bargaining negotiations.

•A decisive 64 percent of voters favor phasing out tenure for teachers because it protects bad teachers from being fired while making it harder to bring in new and better teachers, clear evidence that the outcomes of the collective bargaining process are often not in line with creating more responsive government.

 

The national and state poll results are available at http://www.publicsectorinc.org/events/CSLL092011.html

To schedule an interview with Douglas E. Schoen, please contact Kasia Zabawa at 646-839-3342 or at

kzabawa@manhattan-institute.org.

Manhattan Institute Point of Contact:

Kasia Zabawa, Press Officer

Manhattan Institute

(646) 839-3342

kzabawa@manhattan-institute.org

Douglas E. Schoen has been one of the most influential Democratic campaign consultants for over thirty years. A founding partner and principle strategist for Penn, Schoen & Berland, he is widely recognized as one of the coinventors of overnight polling. Schoen was named Pollster of the Year in 1996 by the American Association of Political Consultants for his contributions to the President Bill Clinton reelection campaign.

The Montana Policy Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan policy research center based in Bozeman. To find out more visit us on the web at www.montanapolicy.org.

The Manhattan Institute, a 501(c)(3), is a think tank whose mission is to develop and disseminate new ideas that foster greater economic choice and individual responsibility.

www.manhattan-institute.org

 

 

 

Schoen Power Point Presentation

For article in The Wall Street Journal

New school spending data now on OpenGovMT website

Contact:

Carl Graham

President

Montana Policy Institute

(406) 219-0508

 

HELENA — A website that tracks budget data for Montana’s K-12 schools has now been updated with the most current information available on public spending.

Earlier this year the Montana Policy Institute launched www.OpenGovMT.org that allows people to view public information on state employee salaries and school financial data. The website has now been updated to include 2010 school spending.

“This is a great resource for all citizens concerned with how their money is spent, and keeping the data current is crucial,” said MPI President Carl Graham. “Ultimately, we hope government will take the steps to routinely achieve this kind of transparency. Until that happens, MPI is proud to bridge the information gap to provide this data to the public.”

The updated school spending information follows a request this year by the news organization Montana Watchdog for copies of the current superintendent contracts from all the school districts in the state. Twenty percent of school districts contacted did not provide a copy of the public document.

“This clearly highlights ongoing issues with transparency in the state of Montana that need to be addressed,” Graham said. “Public information is a misnomer if the public can’t actually get their hands on the information.”

Montana Watchdog is an independently operated news organization that was started as a project of MPI.

The latest data on school spending and more information on government transparency can be viewed at www.OpenGovMT.org. For an interview with Montana Policy Institute’s Carl Graham call (406) 219-0508 or email info@montanapolicy.org.

 

The Montana Policy Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan policy research center based in Bozeman. To find out more visit us on the web at www.montanapolicy.org.

Public Bus Systems More Costly, Environmentally Damaging

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Study: Public Bus Systems More Costly, Environmentally Damaging

BOZEMAN – A study released today by the Montana Policy Institute, a nonpartisan think tank based in Bozeman, shows that public transit systems in the state of Montana are both more costly than other means of transportation and more damaging to the environment.

The study, titled Public Transit in Montana specifically looked at the costs and environmental impacts of public transit systems in Billings, Bozeman, Great Falls, and Missoula.

While the average cost of driving in Montana is less than 23 cents per passenger mile, the study shows the average cost of public transit in the state totals more than $1 per passenger mile.

Urban buses are also found to use more energy than private vehicles and release on average more than twice the amount of carbon emissions per passenger mile as a light truck.

The study provides alternatives for public transportation, including proposals for vouchers, shared taxis, also known as jitneys, and privatization that have the potential to meet urban transportation needs at lower cost and with less environmental impact.

“We’re not just cursing the darkness with this study. We’ve identified a disconnect between what people are being told about the supposed benefits of city busses and what is actually happening; and we’ve proposed serious, workable alternatives that would save taxpayer dollars, reduce environmental costs, and provide much more choice to those who want or need public transportation.” said MPI President Carl Graham. “Cities and counties in Montana need to decide if they’re in the business of moving people or of running busses,” he added.

The study is authored by Cato Institute Senior Fellow Randal O’Toole. Mr. O’Toole’s analysis of urban land-use and transportation issues, outlined in his 2001 book, The Vanishing Automobile and Other Urban Myths, has influenced decisions in cities across the country.

 

To view the full report or for more information people can go to www.montanapolicy.org

 

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The full study compares cost and subsidies per passenger mile for the Billings, Bozeman, Great Falls, and Missoula bus and paratransit systems to average driving costs per passenger mile in Montana. It then compares energy consumption and C02 emissions per passenger mile of each city’s bus and paratransit systems to those of an average light car, average light truck, and Toyota Prius.

 

Mr. O’Toole’s bio can be found at: http://www.cato.org/people/randal-otoole

 

Bozeman Set To Target Kyoto Environmental Goals

By Brett Buonamici

Bozeman, Mont. — A local environmental task force has been assembled to make recommendations for emission controls that could potentially impact private businesses and area households.

Bozeman is one of a handful of cities in the state to sign on to a movement that seeks to voluntarily comply with environmental standards proposed in the controversial Kyoto Protocol. Other communities that have signed on include Billings, Missoula, and Red Lodge.

Current Bozeman city commissioner and mayor-elect Sean Becker said he would favor more environmental regulation as the economy improves.

“Personally, I would love to see more regulations but because of the economic climate, the regulations have to come up from the community,” he said.

A Seattle mayor launched the nation-wide movement after President George W. Bush refused to sign the Kyoto Protocol into law in 2005. Bozeman signed on to the Mayors Climate Protection Agreement in 2006.

Seattle has subsequently enforced “car-free” days, bonfire bans, enacted stricter construction regulations, passed “green” light bulb subsidies and purchased a new city fleet of Prius’s in order to meet their goals under the plan.

Former Bozeman city employee Hattie Baker recently assembled a roster of representatives from public and private organizations to serve on the task force. The mayor and city commission recently approved the selections and the first meeting of the task force is scheduled for November 12. Baker said the monthly meetings will be held in Bozeman’s city hall and they will be open to the public, but the amount of public participation they will allow has yet to be determined.

Baker’s official title will be sustainability consultant. Her salary will be paid by a grant from the New Priorities Foundation, a now defunct organization whose website lists their mailing address in Half Moon Bay, CA. The CCAP is scheduled to be completed by November 2010. However Baker’s grant will expire in February 2010. City officials are exploring additional grants to bridge the gap.

The Mayors Agreement that Bozeman signed in 2006 led to the city writing a Municipal Climate Action Plan (MCAP). The MCAP was aimed at targeting city emissions from buildings like City Hall. The MCAP set the goal for the city to reduce CO2 emissions by 15% below the 2000 levels by 2020. The goal for the city to reduce emissions does not take development or population growth into account.

Todd Myers is Director of the Washington Policy Center for the Environment, a non-partisan research center headquartered in Seattle. Myers said Bozeman would likely have to take “extreme measures” to meet the goals of the Kyoto Protocol.

“Bozeman will have a much harder time to meet the goals of the Kyoto Protocol than Seattle,” Myers said. “Seattle already gets 95% of its energy from renewable sources, mostly hydroelectricity. For Bozeman to meet the goals in the Kyoto Protocol, they would have to take drastic measures in regards to their coal usage.”

Missoula has signed the mayoral agreement as well, and Missoula mayor John Engen has said the agreement has set a tone for the city more than anything. Pushing for awareness and basic conservation efforts has been the main focus so far.

 

“It has been more symbolic than anything. We need to be as responsible as we can in tempering emissions.”

Engen also said there is not currently a “green” budget, or a taxpayer funded pool to promote new city initiatives.

 

Missoula has created an advisory board to promote sustainable “green blocks” and the city has worked with Northwest Energy to audit the energy use of homes in the city. The city has been promoting the use of green technologies like higher quality insulation for homes and buildings, low flow toilets and more efficient light bulbs, but no mandatory measures have been implemented.

Commissioner Jeff Rupp supports Bozeman’s current environmental initiatives such as recycling and “green” construction, but would not necessarily support more intrusive measures. Rupp said he would “not vote for something that forces people to do something.”

Rupp also said he is familiar with many members of the task force and does not foresee any extreme environmental measures being introduced. He said, “I don’t think (the taskforce) will put forth a lot of regulations.”

Bozeman commission members Eric Bryson and Jeff Krauss did not respond to an email request for comment.

Once the CCAP is written, the Bozeman Mayor and City Commission will review the task force recommendations and make decisions on what, if any, measures to take to reduce emissions.

 

The Montana Policy Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan policy research center based in Bozeman. To find out more visit us on the web at www.mtpolicy.org.
Contact:

Michael Noyes

Investigative Reporter

Montana Policy Institute

Phone : (406) 219-0510 Montana Policy Institute

67 W Kagy Blvd Ste. B

Bozeman, MT 59715

info@montanapolicy.org

Press Release

Policy Group Launches Statewide Media Campaign

For Information Contact: Carl Graham at 406-600-1139

 

Billboards, Mailers, Website Weigh-in on Capitol Transparency Debate

 

BOZEMAN (04.27.09) Montana Policy Institute, a non-partisan policy research institute, is joining the statewide debate on spending transparency with a new statewide educational media campaign. The free-market think-tank is bolstering its recent online animated web short “BigSkySearch.info,” with a series of billboards in and around the State Capitol in Helena, and an informational mailer to all legislative districts.

The billboards and mail highlights Montana’s current legislative debate over a proposed transparency website. If approved, Montana will become the nineteenth state to approve a measure to place all state spending, contracts and state salaries in on online, searchable database.

> Billboard samples can be viewed at: www.BigSkySearch.info

“The federal government’s $800,000,000 airlift of stimulus tax dollars without an instruction manual is really the biggest billboard for transparency,” said Carl Graham, CEO of Montana Policy Institute. “Most politicians want to do the right thing when it comes to spending other people’s money, but putting a GPS tracking device on every dollar that leaves the State Capitol adds a necessary layer of accountability to the process. We’re using a little humor and commonsense to make the case,” he added.

The Montana Policy is an independent nonpartisan policy research center based in Bozeman. It provides analysis and information to encourage individual freedom, personal responsibility, and free markets in Montana.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Montana Policy Institute

67 W Kagy Blvd, Ste. B

Bozeman, MT 59715

406-219-0508

info@montanapolicy.org

www.montanapolicy.org

 

MPI is a Montana tax exempt corporation operated exclusively for the public benefit. No substantial part of the activities of the Institute are used for the carrying on of propaganda or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, promote any political campaign, or on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office