MTPR

Nancy Ballance

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A new state economic forecast published Wednesday says Montana isn’t projected to bring in as much money as lawmakers initially expected at the beginning of the legislative session.

The three-year forecast is the latest monthly update lawmakers received as they work to create and pass a state budget bill for the next two years. That work is nearing its end, with less than 10 days left in the 2019 legislative session.

Local Option Tax Bills Continue To Die In Committee

Mar 28, 2019

HELENA -- The third bill in the Montana Legislature that would provide a local option sales tax was tabled with a 12-6 vote in the House Taxation Committee Thursday.

House Bill 740 would have allowed local governments to adopt a voter-approved sales tax of up to 4 percent. No more than 40 percent of the tax revenue would go to property tax relief.

Tonight on Capitol Talk: The state's utility regulators endorse a bill that appears to weaken the their own regulatory oversight. The cost of Medicaid expansion — and a new revenue estimate — complicate the state budget outlook. The president of the Senate wants to be the top election official. And the mayor of Helena wants to run for governor or Congress, but he's not ready to say if he'll run as a Democrat or Republican.

Montana Capitol dome, Helena.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

A $10.3 billion state budget cleared an initial vote in the Montana House of Representatives this afternoon, without any support from Democrats.

When state lawmakers walked into the legislative session earlier this year they were in the unusual situation of having watched the last state budget, passed in 2017, collapse.

Tonight on Capitol Talk: State lawmakers are buckling-down on a number of issues, including increased oversight of non-profit schools for troubled teens; what infrastructure projects to support or reject; what to cut or support in the health department; and whether ratepayers should bear the burden of keeping Colstrip's coal plant going.

Learn more now on Capitol Talk.

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