Corin Cates-Carney

Corin Cates-Carney is the Flathead Valley reporter for MTPR.

Corin has worked for NPR, and is a UM Journalism School Graduate.

Governor Steve Bullock’s budget director today said the federal tax bill passed by Congress is expected to result in a $20 million loss in state revenue over the next two years. And that loss is not significant enough to call a special legislative session or require further cuts to government spending.

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.

Governor Steve Bullock has signed an executive order creating an advisory council on state parks.

Bullock’s order says the fiscal health of state parks remains a chronic problem, and the implementation of Montana’s plan for parks and recreation has not been fully undertaken or realized. 

Five Democrats running for their party’s nomination to challenge Republican Greg Gianforte for Montana’s lone seat in the U.S. House met in their second public forum in Helena Thursday night.

They continued working to distinguish themselves as uniquely qualified to beat Gianforte. A Democrat has not represented Montana in the U.S. House since 1996.

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.

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.

A few days before Christmas the state health department announced it would end contracts with non-profit companies that help people with developmental disabilities. Now, an online petition posted last week protesting the cuts has gathered more than 11,000 signatures.

Montana officials say the tax overhaul passed by Congress could mean a $46 million loss in state revenue, resulting in a possible special legislative session. There's also the chance the state could get sued by taxpayers.

But there is no consensus yet on the federal law’s impact in Montana.

There’s a “strong possibility” that Montana will have to call a special legislative session if the state is correct in how it's interpreting recently-passed changes to federal tax laws. That’s according to state Department of Revenue Director Mike Kadas.

Pages