MTPR

state budget

A helicopter drops water on the Bannack Fire, July 25, 2019.
Inciweb

Montana’s firefighting fund is in good shape moving into the end of the year, according to the state budget director.

Tom Livers, director of the Governor’s Office of Budget and Program Planning told the Legislative Finance Committee Tuesday that this and last years’ mild fire seasons have swelled the state’s firefighting savings account.

Montana Capitol.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

A new state revenue update says Montana’s rainy day and firefighting funds are looking flush as more money is coming in than projected. But a report from legislative researchers indicates the recent cashflow spike could be a temporary blip.

House Bill 300, introduced in the 2019 Montana Legislative session, called for a 2.5 percent sales tax and the elimination of certain property taxes.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

Montana lawmakers will take a comprehensive look at state and local tax policy over the next two years. Legislators say a changing economy and increasing population means Montana should consider new ways of collecting taxes.

Montana Capitol in Helena.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

Controversial policy was decided in the waning hours of the 2019 Montana legislative session Thursday. The final acts of the Legislature included funding for a new state history museum, and raising fees on brokers and investment advisors.

The House chamber at the Montana Legislature.
Nick Mott / Montana Public Radio

The Montana Legislature adjourned Thursday, sending a $10 billion state budget to Gov. Steve Bullock’s desk. Republican and Democratic leaders say their parties each picked up political wins and loses.

The two Republican Majority leaders in the House and Senate struck different tones in their final messages of the 2019 legislative session.

Montana remains among only a few states in the country without publicly funded pre-K.
iStock


A Montana legislative committee rejected efforts to include funding for preschool in the state budget over the next two years. That, and another vote, effectively ended the state's preschool pilot program that lawmakers passed in 2017.

Montana State Capitol.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

The Montana Legislature is in a holding pattern entering the final days of the session as behind the scenes deals are being worked out in rooms at the state Capitol.

Lawmakers are attempting to advance politically contentious policies over preschool funding and the  future of Colstrip as time in the 2019 legislative session runs out.

Reynermedia.com (CC-BY-2.0)

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.

State Budget Bill Is Flying Through The Legislature

Apr 9, 2019
Sen. Jon Sesso, D-Butte, speaks on the Montana Senate floor. Sesso serves as Senate Minority Leader.
Shaylee Ragar / UM Legislative News Service

HELENA -- Montana’s budget will return to the House of Representatives after it was amended in the Senate last week and passed 28-21 Monday.

Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Carl Glimm, a Republican from Kila, says it’s typical for the Senate to tweak House Bill 2, the legislation that outlines the state’s $10.3 billion, two-year budget.

Tonight on Capitol Talk: The state budget sails through the Legislature; Gov. Bullock says he's "skeptical" about the "save Colstrip" bill; a Colstrip senator launches a vitriolic video slamming press coverage of the Colstrip bill; Attorney General Tim Fox opposes ending Obamacare; and three more candidates enter the races for governor and U.S. House. 

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