Legislative Fiscal Division

Montana Capitol, Helena, MT.
William Marcus

Republican leaders say they have not yet struck a deal with Governor Steve Bullock on how to solve the state's current budget crisis. While talks between the conservative legislative majority and the executive have informally created a starting point for a potential special legislative session, a complete solution has still not been reached.

Montana Capitol.
William Marcus

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.

Today and tomorrow we're going to take a look why the state budget is so far out of whack.

Montana Fire Suppression Costs.
Montana Legislative Fiscal Division

A new state report says 2017 was likely the the most expensive fire season in Montana history.

That report by state legislative analysts said the state spent $74 million on fire suppression. The next closest year was 2012, when the state spent less than $60 million.

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.

Montana Capitol in Helena.
William Marcus

Montana could see as much as $106 million in additional revenue come into the state than was previously unexpected. But lawmakers are approaching this news with some caution as they create the state’s budget.

The state’s nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Division is projecting the additional revenue to flow into state coffers over the next three years, as the state recovers from a dip in earnings after a decline created, in part, by lower sales of coal, oil, and gas.