Montana Public Radio

state budget

Structural Balance: HJ 2 revenues are expected to dip below the Governor's proposed ongoing expenditures beginning in FY 2021.
Montana Legislative Fiscal Division

The first state budget offered by Gov. Greg Gianforte includes tax cuts and a marginal increase in general fund spending.

Montana lawmakers have set the first rough outline for state health department spending at about a billion dollars less than the agency’s current budget. A party line vote Friday set the initial base spending for budget negotiations. 

Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte unveils his budget proposal in a press conference at the Montana Capitol in Helena January 7, 2021. The proposal promises a $100 million decrease in state spending over the next two years.
Austin Amestoy / UM Legislative News Service

Gov. Greg Gianforte’s first budget proposal includes broad tax cuts and a marginal change in the state’s general fund spending.

Gianforte is proposing a less than one percent increase, not adjusted for inflation, to the state’s general fund spending over the next 2 years.

Montana lawmakers in the Revenue Interim Committee reviewed revenue forecasts Thursday that will help guide state budget decisions during the 2021 legislative session.

In a year filled with economic uncertainty and a recession due to the coronavirus pandemic, state financial experts warn that some impacts to the state budget remain to be seen.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock proposed a two-year state budget on Nov. 16 that he says preserves essential services while boosting education and infrastructure spending. YPR News’ Kevin Trevellyan reports it’s the two term Democratic governor’s final budget proposal.

During a news conference at the capitol, Bullock proposed using $75 million, or two thirds of the state’s rainy day reserve, to offset revenue drop offs from the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Campaign Beat: Montana Republicans Swept, Now Can They Deliver?

Nov 6, 2020

The Republican messaging in this election clearly won over voters. The conservative Republican agenda includes tax cuts and  fewer regulations. Now, can Republicans deliver on their prosperity promises?

Listen now on the final 2020 episode of Campaign Beat with Sally Mauk, Rob Saldin and Holly Michels.

The candidates for Attorney General say changes are needed in Montana’s Department of Justice Motor Vehicle Division to make it more user friendly and efficient.

Montana’s firefighting fund is full for the first time in state history amid what Gov. Steve Bullock is calling strong overall budget reserves.

Bullock said during a press call on Aug. 17 that his office transferred about $46 million to the fire suppression fund on Aug. 15, hitting the statutory cap of more than $101 million.

“A fire fund filled to the brim is an important cushion to have at this time,” Bullock said.

Montana Capitol building.
Nick Mott / MTPR

The state’s budget has healthy reserves to make up for revenue shortfalls amid economic fallout due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to state finance experts.

On Wednesday, Legislative Fiscal Division staff presented a report predicting the state’s reserves can cover projected losses through the next fiscal year, but that the rainy day fund will be weaker by the 2023 biennium.

A recent Montana legislative report says tax revenue from oil and natural gas production is expected to drop more than 28 percent this fiscal year, which will impact state and county budgets.

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