Bozeman News

Mar 11, 2011 10:22 AM by Jessica Hoppe

People rally in Bozeman against cutting federal funding to programs

Close to 50 people took time out of their day Thursday for a cause they say can't be ignored.

A group of citizens gathered at 7th Avenue and Main Street in Bozeman at noon Thursday to voice their concerns about HR1, a House Resolution Bill that contains a mass budget cuts to many federally funded programs. Rally participants said it would cut budgets for important services like Planned Parenthood and AmeriCorps, among others.

"I think this is a really great way to raise awareness. A lot of people don't even know what HR1 is," organizer Ashley Stevick said.

"We need to mobilize forces because people of Montana deserve these services, and we've worked really hard to get them," participant Mer James said.

Montana Rep. Denny Rehberg supports the bill and says it is a necessity right now.

"We've sunk so far in the hole that there literally isn't enough money to fund many of the things that we could previously have afforded," Rehberg said.

Ralliers say this bill would affect many people across the state of Montana, so they need to be made aware.

"When you have people like you do here, holding a bunch of signs, it's going to make people wonder and hopefully they'll check it out," Stevick said.

"It's really important the community knows what's at stake right now," participant Krystal Sherrill said.

"I love Montana, and I don't want to see it ruined," said high school student Madison Stranahan.

Rehberg says HR1 is a direct result of a more than $14 trillion debt that's been accumulating.

"Many of us warned that reckless deficits would have painful consequences and that it would hurt funding for good programs that help people," he said.

"Somebody missed some education along the way, because you don't cut these severe cuts," rally participant Marlene Holayter said.

"It affects the people of Montana. It affects all of us," Stevick added.

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