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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Montana Lawmakers Confront Tight Budget

State Capitol, Helena
Jacob Baynham
Community News Service, UM School of Journalism
State Capitol, Helena

Democratic Governor Steve Bullock says the number one concern he has with the Legislature’s proposed budget is the lack of funding for essential services."That’s everything from senior and long term care, to how they’re funding higher education, to what had been done with child protective services," says Bullock.

The state is facing a tight budget this session. In the House Appropriations Committee where — like in the House and Senate — Republicans hold a majority, both parties are trying to find a middle ground. The committee took action on amendments to aspects of House Bill 2, or the main budget bill, this morning.

Republican Rep. Brad Tschida of Missoula says he realizes that some programs, like a camp for at-risk youth:

"Do need and deserve money, but I think at this point and time we have to see where the budget comes in before we can go ahead and honor a commitment of this nature."

The committee will continue hearing amendments on the bill through Friday.

Cole Grant is a reporter with the UM Legislative News Service, a partnership of the University of Montana School of Journalism, the Montana Broadcasters Association and the Greater Montana Foundation.

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