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The Associated Press April 8, 2010, 12:13PM ET

Citizens share ideas for saving Montana money

Montanans have suggested more than 1,000 ideas to Gov. Brian Schweitzer on how the state can save money.

Schweitzer solicited the suggestions in January, because of declining tax revenues.

A spokesman for the governor says a committee of budget and policy officials are reviewing the 1,072 suggestions and will name four finalists by April 19.

Jason O'Neill says Montanans will be able to vote for their favorite cost-saving idea from April 19 to May 19. Schweitzer has promised to implement the winning idea and the person who suggested it will receive a palladium coin donated by Stillwater Mining.

The most frequent suggestions include saving energy, cutting printing costs by making more information available online, cutting state travel costs and holding more teleconferences or meetings over the Internet and consolidating school districts.

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