Montana

Montana House passes $10.2B budget, bill now goes to Senate

HELENA, Mont. - The Montana House of Representatives has approved a $10.2 billion state budget for 2018-2019.

The budget bill passed a final vote 58-40 on Friday morning. It now goes to the Senate, where Democrats will again try to add more money for health and education programs they say are inadequately funded in the spending plan written by lawmakers in the Republican majority.

Democrats tried to add about $300 million through more than two dozen amendments during the lengthy floor debate on Thursday. All of the amendments failed, most of them on party line votes.

House Appropriations Chairwoman Nancy Balance says no more money can be added without cutting elsewhere in the budget. Republican lawmakers are seeking to shore up a budget shortfall through spending cuts and by leaving government agency vacancies opens.


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