MTPR

Steve Bullock

Montana House Speaker Austin Knudsen at a Republican caucus press conference Tuesday
Corin Cates-Carney

Governor Steve Bullock’s outline for the special legislative session began to unravel yesterday as the Legislature's Republican majority moved their own plan for balancing the state budget

Montana House of Representatives.
MTPR

After weeks of build-up, a special legislative session began Tuesday afternoon in Helena with the intent of balancing the state budget. But after a day of hearings yesterday, and political maneuvering today, it’s still unknown how that will happen. Governor Steve Bullock’s original outline for how to plug the $227 million hole in the state budget was quickly expanded by the Republican majority.

The special session of the Montana Legislature got underway with lawmakers still at odds with the Bullock Administration on how to deal with the projected $227 million budget shortfall. One sticking point remains over a proposal to accept $30 million in exchange for extending the contract for a private prison in Shelby another 10 years should be part of the mix. 

GOP Budget Plan Hopes To 'Corral' Governor

Nov 13, 2017
Rep. Rob Cook
Montana Legislature

Shelby prison deal could be Bullock’s “one exit”

As state lawmakers lay the groundwork for a special legislative session to tackle Montana’s $227 budget shortfall, the proposed GOP deal for how to plug the gap is coming into focus.

At the same time, two independent sources have confirmed to the Montana Free Press that Gov. Steve Bullock, a Democrat, in “in talks” with top executives of CoreCivic, the owners of a private prison in Shelby that is at the center of the 2017 special session’s most contentious proposal. CoreCivic is offering to return $30 million in state money set aside for the eventual purchase of the 664-bed prison in exchange for a 10-year renewal on its contract to operate the facility. That contract is up in 2019.

Montana Capitol, Helena.
William Marcus

Montana lawmakers returned to Helena Monday to begin a special legislative session aimed at addressing the state's $227 million budget deficit. The governor has proposed filling the budget gap with a combination of cuts to state agencies and tax increases. But Republicans, who control both houses of the Legislature, have different plans.

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