HELENA – A multi-billion dollar state spending bill is now before the Montana Senate for consideration after narrowly getting the rubber stamp of approval from the House on Tuesday.
House Bill 2, sponsored by Rep. Nancy Ballance (R-Hamilton) advanced in the House by a vote of 52-to-46.
Republicans provided all of the yes votes — while all 42 Democrats and four Republicans voted no.
Ballance says the current budget has about $5 million of unspent money — but that doesn’t account for several big proposals still in the process — such as Medicaid expansion, or an $80 million infrastructure bill.
“But as the remaining bills come through the process, again, we still have hard to decisions to make — not just in Appropriations, but in your committees as well, as you see bills with money on them, with appropriations on them, with transfers, or with revenue,” Rep. Ballance said.
The current spending bill finances most of the state’s $10 billion budget over two years.