Dan Villa

Office of the governor, budget and program planning.
William Marcus

The governor's office says a special legislative session could be called in the coming weeks as the administration and the conservative majority party inch closer to striking a deal on a plan to balance the state budget.

State Budget Director Dan Villa called reporters into his office Wednesday for a brief update on the ongoing political tug-of-war over state spending as Montana faces a $227 million revenue shortfall.

Annual Change In State Personal Income Adjusted For Inflation 2007-2016
Screen shot of Pew Charitable Trust Research

Montana is facing a state budget crisis. The state is projected to have about $200 million less than it needs to fund everything in the budget that lawmakers and the governor agreed to this year. That much is clear, but there's a lot of disagreement about why the $200 million hole is there, and what to do about it.

The budget that state lawmakers passed, and that Governor Steve Bullock signed, was based on forecasts that projected Montana's economy would generate a lot more tax revenue than it actually did. That budget is now falling apart.

But the Bullock administration continues to tout the strength of Montana's economy

Chair of the Legislative Finance Committee Rep. Nancy Ballance.
Mike Albans

Montana may need to change the way it applies taxes to collect revenue amid a changing state economy, according to state elected officials searching for solutions during the ongoing budget crisis.

Some of the protesters at the state capitol Wednesday
Corin Cates Carney

State lawmakers started taking up the challenge of Montana's $282 million budget shortfall in the first of two days of hearings in Helena today.

Legislative Fiscal Division

An independent analysis of Montana’s budget deficit was released today. A legislative committee is set to review proposed cuts to the state’s budget next week.