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The latest Montana politics, elections and Legislature news.

Gianforte Signs $12 Billion, Two-Year State Budget

State budgets.
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Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte has signed off on the $12 billion state budget passed by lawmakers to guide spending over the next two years.

Gianforte touts the budget as fiscally conservative and says it’ll give Montanans broad-based tax relief. A press release from the governor’s office says the budget delivers on Gianforte’s campaign promise to hold the line on state spending.

The $12 billion budget crafted by the Legislature is a roughly 2.5% increase over last biennium’s budget, and spends about $160 million, or 1%, less than what Gianforte had suggested in his proposed budget in January.

That increase is smaller than other recent budgets. But unlike in past years, Montana has received $2 billion from the federal government in stimulus funds. That money will help fund public assistance programs, infrastructure projects and economic stabilization initiatives.

According to Gianforte’s office, state taxes will be cut by $60 million each year for Montanans. The Legislature approved cuts for income taxes, business equipment taxes and capital gains taxes.

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