Special Session

Jackie Yamanaka

The fact Montana lawmakers were going into this week's special legislative session with no pre-negotiated "deal" in place gave many at the Capitol heartburn. The session wrapped up shortly after 1 a.m. Thursday morning. Governor Steve Bullock called legislators back to the Capitol to help address a projected $227 million dollar budget shortfall and backfill the state's depleted wildfire fighting fund. 

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.

Jackie Yamanaka

The Republican controlled Montana Legislature voted to make permanent nearly $77 million in budget cuts the governor intended to be temporary. Both the House and Senate gave final approval to House Bill 2 and sent the measure on to the governor.

In the meantime, work continues on companion bills. This includes Senate Bill 9 which includes the GOP's intent to use the $30 million offered from CoreCivic, the company that runs the private prison in Shelby, to help offset the projected $227 million dollar budget deficit.

Jackie Yamanaka

Montana lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow the state to accept $30 million from CoreCivic, the company that runs the private prison that houses some of the state's inmates. The company has offered to give the state that money in exchange for another 10 year contract to run the Shelby facility. The bill's sponsor says if Governor Steve Bullock accepts that offer then $15 m of that money would go into the wildfire fund and the rest could be used to soften cuts to state agency budgets.  Senate Bill 9 is part of the Republican majority's plan during the special legislative session to address the projected $227 m budget shortfall.

https://goo.gl/xhZVWE

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. 

Jackie Yamanaka

Montana Legislators are considering a temporary increase in lodging and car rental taxes to preserve some government services slated to be cut to address Montana’s projected $227 million budget shortfall. It's part of a 3-prong approach sought by Governor Steve Bullock that also includes budget cuts and fund transfers during the special Legislative Session that officially convenes Tuesday.

Jackie Yamanaka

Republican legislative leaders are skeptical that the Bullock Administration's revenue projections are correct. Because of that they told reporters during a conference call Wednesday it is premature to talk about a special legislative session to address the state budget.