Gov: Montana residents not talking about budget shortfall
BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) – Montana’s governor says residents don’t seem to be aware of the state’s budget issues and the magnitude of the problem may not sink in until state services are cut.
Gov. Steve Bullock told the Bozeman Daily Chronicle editorial board on Thursday that lawmakers could look at new revenue streams if he called a special session, but he doesn’t want to call one if Republican lawmakers aren’t in agreement. Bullock said even with some tax increases, cuts are still inevitable.
State agencies were asked for ways to cut their budgets by 10 percent and the budget director recommended $229 million in cuts this week. They include eliminating some jobs, holding others open, cutting travel and training and reducing or eliminating some services for vulnerable or disabled residents.
The Legislative Finance Committee will make its recommendation next month.