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Responsibly Balancing Montana's Budget - Gov. Steve Bullock

November 7, 2017View for printing

Yesterday, I am called the Montana Legislature back to Helena next week for a special session to fix the state budget. Hearings will begin on Monday, November 13th, 2017.

I have put forth a set of reasonable and thoughtful proposals to balance Montana's budget for consideration by the Legislature. It is time Montana leaders fulfill our responsibilities to the people we represent and balance our budget in a way that makes sense for Montana taxpayers, workers, and families.

As with any compromise, not everyone will get everything they want. But if a budget solution is not approved by the Legislature, the only legal option available to me is to cut $227 million across state agencies. Most of these cuts will affect services, like those in public health, corrections, and education.

I have proposed some cuts that will help bring our budget into balance. I am asking legislators to work with me to address the additional shortfall through a combination of temporary revenue enhancements and legislatively approved funding transfers. You can learn more about this proposal at: http://balancedbudget.mt.gov/.

Let me be clear, I would prefer not to make these cuts. But if the Legislature agrees on the additional proposals, these cuts will avoid the negative impacts a $227 million reduction would have on essential state services. I am and have always been committed to governing responsibly on behalf of all Montanans - and now is not the time to allow the perfect to be the enemy of the good. Doing nothing is irresponsible.

I am hopeful a deal will be reached between my office and legislators prior to their arrival back in Helena next week. We look forward to a quick and productive special session.

Please reach out to your legislators and ask them to come to the table and support this bipartisan budget solution. You can find your legislator's full contact information on the Montana Legislature's website HERE.

Thanks again for your help; together we will chart a better path forward.

Sincerely,

STEVE BULLOCK Governor


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