MTPR

Tom Livers

Tonight on Capitol Talk: The state health department faces permanent job cuts; A sales tax proposal reappears at the Capitol; Sexual harassment allegations among lawmakers lead to a new anti-harassment policy; And with time running short, Gov. Bullock remains coy about his 2020 election plans.

State Budget Director Tom Livers speaks during a House Appropriations hearing on March 7, 2019.  Gov. Steve Bullock's administration opposes some of the Legislature's proposed eliminations in vacant state job positions.
Corin Cates-Carney / MTPR

Gov. Steve Bullock’s administration is objecting to the Legislature’s initial plan to cut funding for around 230 open job positions across Montana government in the next state budget.

The state’s $4.3 billion general fund budget is first up for debate as lawmakers arrive back in Helena for the second half of the 2019 legislative session.

Montana Capitol building.
Nick Mott / MTPR

A new plan to cap state government debt when paying for public works projects is on a fast track in the state Legislature. It’s a potential breakthrough in the Legislature’s long fight over borrowing money to pay for large scale infrastructure.

The so-called Infrastructure Development and Economic Accountability Act passed out of House Appropriations unanimously, and without debate, hours after it receiving its first hearing Thursday.

Hearing room at the Montana Capitol.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

Anglers, boaters, farmers and conservationists are all backing a new proposal at the state Legislature to spend $6.5 million fighting aquatic invasive species, but they disagree over who should foot the bill. The measure had its first hearing Monday.

Gov. Steve Bullock.
Corin Cates-Carney / MTPR

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock is taking one more shot at passing an infrastructure package. 

“This $294 million investment is accomplished through a responsible mix of cash and bonds,” says Tom Livers, the governor's budget director.

Montana's Gross State Product growth by industry sector. Nov. 19, 2018
Montana Legislative Fiscal Division

Montana’s Gross State Product, wages and personal income are expected to grow between 3 and 4 percent each of the next few years, according to reports given to lawmakers Monday. That growth rate is slightly below the state’s long-term trend since 2001.

Those reports from the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Division drove a projection for how much tax revenue Montana is expected to bring in as lawmakers start building the state’s next two-year budget.


Governor Steve Bullock has appointed a former liaison in the Obama White House to a state cabinet position leading the Montana Department of Environmental Quality. 

Tom Livers, has been named as Montana's new state budget director.
MontanaDEQ

Governor Steve Bullock named a new state budget director Thursday. Bullock is tapping the current head of the Department of Environmental Quality for the job as the state’s top accountant.

Montana Seeks Judge's Order To Ban Mining Company CEO

Jun 25, 2018

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana environmental regulators asked a judge on Monday to ban the head of a giant mining company from exploring or opening any new mines in the state until he is no longer in violation of Montana's "bad actor" law.

The Cabinet Mountains as seen from Highway 56 near Noxon, MT.
U.S. Forest Service Northern Region (PD)

Montana regulators announced today that an Idaho mining company hoping to develop two mines in northwest Montana has violated state law; an allegation the company denies.

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