MTPR

Steve Bullock

Montana state Capitol
Corin Cates-Carney

There are currently more than 1,300 unfilled jobs in Montana executive branch agencies. It’s still unclear exactly how many of those positions are being kept open as a result of the state’s budget shortfall.

The budget state lawmakers passed last year authorizes more than 13,000 employees in administrative agencies like the state departments of health, corrections and transportation.

Chair of the Legislative Finance Committee Rep. Nancy Ballance.
Mike Albans

We’ve been reporting a lot on the budget cuts Governor Steve Bullock’s administration has been making as a result of a more than $200 million state budget shortfall. The cuts are the result of bills passed in the regular and special legislative sessions in 2017.

Since then political leaders on both sides of the aisle have been distancing themselves from some of the impacts of those decisions.

This week on "Campaign Beat" we cover candidate hairdos via a new Republican anti-Tester ad; talk about the moderate/progressive split on display at the Missoula Democratic House candidates forum; look at Governor Bullock's ongoing flirtation with running for POTUS; and discus Senate candidates James and Sarah Dean's odd disappearing act.

Negotiations between the state and companies that help people with developmental disabilities seem to be at a dead end. This after some lawmakers urged the state health department not to end contracts with the companies due to budget cuts.

Health Department Outlines Cuts To Services For Special Needs Kids
Corin Cates-Carney

The state health department is taking the next step to chip away at $49 million in budget cuts. That’s how much Governor Steve Bullock and state lawmakers told the department it had to reduce expenses at the end November’s special legislative session, in order to balance the state budget after lower than expected tax revenues last year.

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