Attorney General Tim Fox Says the Federal Government Is Stealing From Montana by Sequestering Mineral Leasing Act Funds
The federal government is still attempting to balance the cuts that came with sequestration earlier this year, but in doing so, it has drawn the ire of nearly all of the rocky mountain states.
Montana Attorney General Tim Fox says the federal government is now taking money that was supposed to come to Montana through the Mineral Leasing Act.
"The federal government sent a letter to the state of Montana and other western states stating that they were subject to sequestration and that the federal government was going to take 5.1 percent of those funds. For Montana that means that, in any given year, using fiscal year 2012 as an example, that the federal government is stealing about $2.4 million of Montana's money."
Fox says about 25 states received similar letters from the federal government and that he has aligned himself with many of those states in protesting the action.
"I have joined nine other western state's attorney generals to send a letter to President Obama and members of his cabinet, including secretary Sally Jewell of the Department of the Interior, objecting to applying the sequestration to these state funds."
Fox says that although the money goes through federal hands before it comes to Montana, the federal government has no right to subject Mineral Leaseing Act funds to sequestration because they belong to Montana by law. The letter by the ten state attorney's general threatens legal action if the funds are not returned.
Tim Fox explains his position on the Mineral Leasing Act sequestration: