MTPR

state budget

The Montana Legislature Subcommittee on Taxes and the Changing Economy, Jan. 17, 2018.
Corin Cates-Carney

When it became clear that state revenues were falling short of expectations during the last legislative session, state lawmakers agreed they should start studying Montana’s changing economy.

Earlier in the session, revenue forecasts from legislative and executive branch analysts said the state’s economy was strong. But revenues ended up coming in way short and state lawmakers are starting to ask why.

Montana’s state health department is getting ready to take over day-to-day help for 3,000 people with developmental disabilities this spring, after severing contracts with four private contractors.

The department says it had no choice after state lawmakers and the governor cut $49 million out of its budget in November.

Montana state Capitol
Corin Cates-Carney

MTPR is doing a lot of reporting on the more than $170 million worth of cuts to the state budget that are resulting in people losing their jobs across state government and with private contractors, and reduced services to some of Montana’s poorest and most vulnerable citizens.

Today, we’ve asked our Capitol Reporter Corin Cates-Carney to join us for a big picture look at how the cuts came about, where they’re landing and whether there are any alternatives.

Montana Governor Steve Bullock’s office is laying off about half a dozen staff positions and moving two to part time as a result of state budget cuts.

The layoffs include policy advisors, economic policy specialists, a front desk intern, and a citizens advocate. An analysts with the Governor's Budget and Program Planning office was laid off last month.

Crews work the July Fire in Phillips County, Montana July 5, 2017.
Inciweb

The federal government has denied Montana’s request for $44 million dollars in disaster funding following the historic 2017 fire season that burned over a million acres across the state.

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