State spending must be limited by the growth in our economy and population; we cannot continue to increase the state at 24% when our economy only increased 3-4% as was done in the 2007 session.
State spending has increased by 42% since 2005, and state employment has increased by over 1200 individuals, this cannot continue and maintain our economy.
For the State of Montana to maintain a strong economy we must utilize our natural resources in a responsible manner. We have the highest reserve of coal in the nation and can produce clean energy at a competitive rate; this will provide high paying jobs and a future for our young people.
The funding for our schools must be converted from a property tax base to a natural resource base. Our property tax payers cannot afford the increases needed to make Montana schools achieve the high standards that we expect from them.
The Montana Education system must be able to provide the opportunity as guaranteed in the Constitution to a quality education. This will require new and creative ideas for both the delivery and accessibility of education
Montana taxes must remain fair and equitable. Business taxes must encourage economic growth by being competitive with surrounding states and consistent over time. Hidden taxes (such as pass through energy taxes) that drive up the cost to the consumer cannot continue to rise only for the sake of growing government.
We must have local control over education spending; the local trustees know better where and how the available funds should be spent.
Our education system must be affordable for taxpayers in all districts in the state.
The system must be accountable. New programs must not be started until the present system corrects the dropout rate problems and the need for remedial math and reading before entering college.
Taxpayers must be considered in all phases of our education funding.
The Education system must be an "output" based system.
A new funding structure must be developed to create an equitable, adequate and balanced system that treats the smaller districts equally with the larger ones.
Property taxes should be spent as close to the source of collection as possible.
Government should not grow by virtue of re-classification or re-evaluation.
WHAT DOES BOB BELIEVE AND WILL DEFEND:
* Strong Family Values
* Private Property Rights
* Lower Property Taxes
* Smaller more Responsive Government
* Fair and Balanced Taxation
* Balanced Representation of all citizens in SD44
I will represent you and all the citizens of the state of Montana to the best of my ability, with honesty, integrity and concern for our best interests.