Smith Votes Against Special Session
House Rep. Frank Smith is one state legislator who will not vote for a special session to occur this fall.
â€śIâ€™m refusing because thatâ€™s $40,000 we canâ€™t afford,â€ť the House District 31 Democrat said.
At least some state legislators, mainly Republicans, are seeking a special session to return some of the stateâ€™s $1.5 billion estimated budget surplus to taxpayers and also reduce bonded debt.
A simple majority of legislators are needed to approve having a special session take place. Tentative starting date is Sept. 29. Republicans have a 66-33 majority in the House.
â€śI expect we will have a special session and get nothing done but spend money,â€ť Smith said. â€śI call them not so special sessions.â€ť
One proposal being promoted by some legislators is sending rebates of $1,000 to Montana resident homeowners, up to $1,250 for individual taxpayers and $2,500 for couples filing jointly.
â€śI want to hang onto it and put it in next yearâ€™s budget,â€ť Smith said of the surplus. â€śWe donâ€™t know how much fires or highways are going to cost us yet.â€ť
The current state budgetâ€™s surplus might also be misleading because of federal stimulus funds received by the state.
Smith stressed, â€śIâ€™m more worried about our future.â€ť
He also is concerned about what other new proposals might be introduced during a potential special session.
â€śIâ€™ve been to three of these and know what theyâ€™re like,â€ť Smith said.