Montana GOP Lawmakers Push for Budget Cuts

Friday, 04 Mar 2011 11:37 AM

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Republican lawmakers in Montana continued to push for budget cuts Thursday as Democrats tried to restore spending for social service programs, the Independent Record in Helena reported Friday.

montana budget cutsThe House Appropriations Committee moved to cut about $20 million from the budget Gov. Brian Schweitzer proposed for the next two years and at least another $100 million in federal money and spending authority. The vote was mostly along party lines.

The committee will finish its work on the state’s major spending bill Friday. The bill will then move to the House floor next week where Republicans hold a majority.

The Democrats cried foul over cuts to human services programs for veterans, children, foster parents, seniors and others. The GOP committee members defeated a host of proposed changes to the spending plan.

State Rep. Don Roberts, a Billings Republican, said the budget still included substantial increase in spending for programs used by the poor, in particular Medicaid.

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