House unanimously passes state budget

Members of the Montana House made history Tuesday.

For the first time, republicans and democrats in the House joined together to pass a $9-billion, two-year state budget by voting 100-0 at 9:23 a.m. March 19.

The Director of State Republicans Bowen Greenwood said the passing of the bill is a very exciting moment for all the members involved.

“Speaker of the House Mark Blasdel said we need to be more about work and less about politics,” said Greenwood. “I think both sides thought while the bill wasn’t perfect, it wasn’t worth having a big fight over or have a lot of mud-slinging on the House floor.”

While it’s typical for the House to take all day or even multiple days debating on a budget, this year’s budget, HB2, saw the floor for about an hour and a half before all members passed the bill with no changes.

HB2 addresses all areas of the state government, including education, health and human service and corrections. Even though the budget passed in the House without any amendments, both Republicans and Democrats can make amendments as soon as the bill goes to the Senate. Both parties are expected to attempt amendments when the budget is presented to the Senate on Wednesday.

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