Paul Polzin and Patrick Barkey of the University of Montana's Bureau of Business and Economic Research will be traveling around Montana during the first week of August to discuss the projected decline of federal funds into the state and to discuss whether or not the bureau's economic predictions from last year are on the right track.

The discussion is titled Montana’s Federal Economic Footprint: The Local Impact of Changes in Washington.

"It seemed appropriate with the retirement of our senior senator [Max Baucus] - who has a reputation for bringing home the pork and bacon, shall we say, for Montana - that it would be a good time to assess where things are going in Montana with respect to federal spending," Barkey said. "A lot of people aren't aware of how important federal spending is in the state economy, both in Missoula and really throughout the state."

Montana receives about $1.50  for every dollar it sends to the federal government, but Barkey says that trend is almost certain to change.

"It's an undeniable fact that federal spending, the trajectory, has to come back to Earth. We thought that this was a good time to examine what kinds of federal spending are at risk here in Montana and how that might play out over the next few years."

Barkey says that the payroll for Federal workers in Montana has already dropped by six percent in the past two years.

Below is a list of the times, places and dates where the discussions will be held:

  • Kalispell -- Noon - 1:30 p.m. on Thursay Aug. 1. Red Lion Hotel, includes lunch.
  • Billings – 7-8:30 a.m., Tuesday, Aug. 6, Crowne Plaza. Includes breakfast.
  • Bozeman – Noon-1:30 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 6, Best Western GranTree. Includes lunch.
  • Helena– 7-8:30 a.m., Wednesday, Aug. 7, Jorgenson’s. Includes breakfast.
  • Butte– Noon-1:30 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 7, Comfort Inn. Includes lunch.
  • Great Falls – 7-8:30 a.m., Thursday, Aug. 8, Hilton Garden Inn. Includes breakfast.
  • Missoula – Noon-1:30 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 8, Holiday Inn Downtown. Includes lunch.