MTPR

state budget

Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services
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A crowd of more than 50 healthcare workers, patients, and advocates chanted outside the state capitol Tuesday afternoon protesting the Montana health department’s plan to reduce funding for Medicaid services.

They came for their first opportunity to testify before a legislative committee that’s also questioning the priorities of Governor Steve Bullock’s administration as it trims the state budget in the face of a continuing state revenue shortfall.

Crowd outside the Montana Capitol protesting pending state budget cuts to health department, and other agencies, Sept. 11, 2017.
Corin Cates-Carney

A state legislative committee heard protests over proposed cuts to Medicaid Monday.

The cuts Montana's Department of Public Health and Human Services is planning are in response to the Legislature cutting its budget by $8.6 million. They would result in lower payments to health care professionals, and end some case-management services.

William Marcus

Late this afternoon, state agencies turned in plans to Governor Steve Bullock, outlining potential 10 percent budget cuts he requested to offset lower than expected state revenues.

Montana Public Radio’s Capitol reporter Corin Cates-Carney joins from Helena to talk us through it.

State Budget Director Dan Villa.
Corin Cates-Carney

Governor Steve Bullock’s office said today that state agencies must cut their budgets an additional 10 percent, in order to avoid a $227 million budget shortfall within two years.

Those cuts would be in addition to spending reductions that were triggered earlier this month by low revenue results, plus previous cuts to many state agencies included in the two year budget passed last spring.

More than $97 million in state budget reductions are scheduled to kick in August 15, and, across the state,, school districts are preparing to adapt to their share of the cut.

Funding for public education in Montana will decrease by about $19 million over the next two years as declines in state revenues mean across-the-board budget reductions to state agencies.

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