The budget bill that doles out state money to agencies passed out of the House of Representatives today on a 58-to-40 vote. House Bill 2, made up of more than $10 billion to be spent over two years, has been the most contentious bill in the legislative session thus far.
Democrats offered up 25 amendments during the debate Thursday, all of which were shot down mostly on party lines.
Republican Rep. Nancy Ballance is the sponsor of the bill.
"On your desk is a packet of amendments totaling over $200 million in additional spending in no priority order that I can see, that will completely blow up this budget,” Ballance said.
Democratic Rep. Bryce Bennett opposes the bill.
"It’s a bad bill for working people, working families. It’s a bad bill for people who are struggling, and it’s a bad bill for Montana,” said Bennett.
The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.
Freddy Monares is a reporter with the UM Legislative News Service, a partnership of the University of Montana School of Journalism, the Montana Broadcasters Association and the Greater Montana Foundation.