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.

The maneuvering to fix the state budget is still playing out following the special session earlier this month as some key pieces have yet to slide into place.

Lawmakers left the state Capitol about a week and a half ago with a package of bills that filled the state's projected $227 million budget shortfall. As a result of some of that work, Governor Steve Bullock announced Monday that state’s credit rating remains strong.

The medical records of several Montana chronic pain patients were seized last week during a federal raid of a medical clinic in a strip mall in southern California. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration requested a warrant to seize narcotics, payment records, and patient information at the clinic of Doctor Forest Tennant.

The gavel banged down shortly after 1 o’clock this morning to bring the special legislative session to a close after lawmakers passed a series of bills to address Montana's projected $227 million budget shortfall.

Jackie Yamanaka

The gavel banged down shortly after 1 o’clock this morning to bring the special legislative session to a close after lawmakers passed a series of bills to address Montana's projected $227 million budget shortfall.

The Republican party’s keystone bill to patch the state budget passed Montana’s House and Senate Wednesday afternoon nearly along party lines.

House Bill 2 is a package of bills Republican leaders are pressing forward with. Democrats say HB 2 handcuffs them into choosing between the better of two evils. House Bill 2 is the Republicans’ plan to make permanent the $76 million in budget cuts Governor Steve Bullock put in place Tuesday.

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

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.

As part of Montana's special legislative session, Governor Bullock is asking public schools to forego tens of millions of dollars in the coming years in state transportation block grants.

Public schools would share about 6 percent of the burden to fill the state’s $227 million dollar budget shortfall under the proposed Senate Bill 2. It would require school districts in Montana to start tapping into their reserve funds to pay for transportation costs, like buses, for students.

State lawmakers Monday took up a proposal by Governor Steve Bullock to increases fees on some property owners to fund fire protection in the state. It's part of the governor's package of legislation aimed at patching the $227 million hole in the state budget.

House Bill 4 proposes freeing up $13 million in the state's general fund by asking property tax payers to take on more of the cost for state firefighting preparedness. This bill would ask property owners in eastern Montana to pay fees that people in western parts of the state already pay.

Republican state lawmakers say they want the special legislative session that starts Monday to be expanded beyond what Governor Steve Bullock is calling for.

Last week Bullock said he felt like he was close to having a budget deal with Republicans, but conservatives leaders say that’s not the case, and have their own plans.

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