Posted: May 3, 2013 6:24 PM by Marnee Banks - MTN News
Updated: May 3, 2013 7:05 PM
5/3/13 - 7 p.m. - UPDATE: Senate President Jeff Essmann just issued this statement.
"Democrats, with help from a handful of Republicans, passed a bloated budget at the conclusion of the legislative session and I am happy that the governor found a way to reduce its size. Cutting $30 million dollars out of a $11 billion dollar budget isn't that much - but it's a start."
Governor Steve Bullock (D- MT) says the Montana Legislature spent too much money, so he is line item vetoing the state's budget.
On Friday, he issued his decision taking $30 million in spending out of House Bill 2.
Among other things, Bullock is cutting funding for health care providers, oil and gas research, agriculture experiment stations, and pay increases for game wardens.
When Bullock released his budget he said he wanted to leave $300 million in the bank and make sure the state didn't spend more than it took in.
When the Legislature adjourned the budget was $20 million out of balance and by the end of the two-year budget cycle there would have been $180 million left in the state's bank account.
Bullock said he had to veto these things in order to reduce spending and eliminate new programs that Montana simply cannot afford.
The changed budget now becomes law.
Click here to read Bullock's line-item veto letter (PDF).
Click here to read HB 2 (PDF).