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Jones asks “How can Governor call this an Increase”

State Senator Lew Jones of Conrad says the governor’s education funding plan is “Not Equitable”

Jones, in his weekly legislative report on KSEN said the money for what he called education funding increases would not be an increase, but would merely take $37 Million annually from 130 school districts and disperse it back to over 400 districts.

Jones said that the district providing the oil and gas revenue would get only a small portion back, while the largest school district would get the “lion’s share”.

Meanwhile, property tax payers from the counties where the money was taken would see increased property taxes.  In Pondera County, Jones say those increases could be four to six million, Glacier County 1.2 Million to 2 Million, in Toole County 1 to 1.6 Million and in Liberty County 300 to 600 Thousand.

Jones says he does admit that some excess oil and gas windfalls, from the Bakken Formation in Eastern Montana should rightfully be dispersed throughout the state, but only when it doesn’t increase local property taxes.

Jones says he plans to introduce alternative legislation.

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