Legislative Finance Committee

Courtesy Two Rivers Authority

An unanticipated surge in prisoner numbers means Montana’s Department of Corrections has gone over budget, and will likely have to ask state lawmakers for more money in the 2017 legislative session.

The Legislative Finance Committee heard that in Thursday's budget update.

The budget lawmakers passed last year projected that the state would need to pay county jails to house 250 prisoners whom there’s no room for in the state prison system.

MT's budget on track

Mar 14, 2014

Analysts expect Montana’s budget surplus to be slightly higher than previous predictions.

The estimate comes from the Legislative Fiscal Division. It now predicts the state will have nearly $353 million left in the bank at the end of this budget cycle. That’s almost $6 million higher than estimates in December.

Conrad Republican Senator Llew Jones chairs the Legislative Finance committee, which looks at the budget between Legislative sessions. He said, overall, the budget is staying right about where it should.