Friday, July 01, 2005

Schweitzer roundup, 7/1/05

Lots and lots and LOTS of Schweitzer news today (and yesterday, because I was busy reading instead of Schweitzerblogging):

First of all, the Governor declares victory on Amtrak when Capitol Hill decides to leave the mass-transit system's funding intact. Montana's infrastructure depends on the train system's extensive rural network, and Schweitzer worked closely with Baucus, Burns, and Rehberg on this one.

More fantastic news on Schweitzer's collaboration with Native America: the Governor plans to improve communication with Indian tribes, again. Go read the whole article -- this is some great stuff:

Gov. Brian Schweitzer threw open the Capitol doors to Montana's American Indians Wednesday and rolled out a new communication plan that he hopes will better serve the tribes needs. ...

"You made your promise to work with the tribes, and I look around the room and I see this happening," said Joel Clairmont, deputy director of the state Department of Agriculture and a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes. "This is something that needed to be done. It was a long time coming."

The new Indian council gives the tribes "a portal" into state government, Schweitzer said.

"We tried to put together a council that will better deliver government services in Indian country," Schweitzer said. "We want to make sure we are responsive." ...

"This is the beginning, this is not the end," the governor said. "We are leading the rest of the nation in state-to-tribal relationships."
Schweitzer says more good things about alternative fuels, complete with this quote:

"The future of Montana energy will be a future made in part with ethanol fuel," Schweitzer said. "We fully intend for Montana to be a leader in renewable fuels."
The Governor defends his state against FEMA, which is refusing to declare a disaster area for rural electric co-ops that the state can't help.

Apparently, fully one-sixth of the bills Schweitzer has signed this year are health-care bills.

And Schweitzer sets up a commission to determine the design for the Montana statehood quarter and lets local historians in on the process. (I know you don't care, but I'm a historian and a coin collector. So there.)

And if you want to be a judge in Gallatin County, the Gov's taking applications. Better get on this one quick.


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