MTPR

Montana budget

Taxes To Again Dominate Budget Talks At The Montana Legislature

Jan 17, 2019
Rep. Nancy Ballance, R-Hamilton, sits in the House of Representatives on Jan. 10, 2019. Ballance is the chair of the House Appropriations Committee.
Shaylee Rager / UM Legislative News Service

HELENA — Taxes are shaping up to be one of the big debates of the 2019 Montana Legislature.

The budget estimates from the governor’s office and the Legislative Fiscal Division are roughly the same -- about $10 billion over two years to fund a variety of state agencies and programs. The budget includes everything from education to the state’s share of Medicaid expansion.

Eric Whitney

The number of people being held in institutions due to mental disorders in Missoula County has spiked by more than 30-percent in the wake of statewide budget cuts for social services.

Montana House of Representatives.
MTPR

A special legislative session may be the only way for Montana to fix its budget, wrecked by an over projection of incoming revenue and an expensive fire season, according to conservative leaders in the House and Senate.

Some of the protesters at the state capitol Wednesday
Corin Cates Carney

State lawmakers started taking up the challenge of Montana's $282 million budget shortfall in the first of two days of hearings in Helena today.