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Montana Lawmakers To Receive Briefing On COVID's Financial Impacts

Montana lawmakers will receive a briefing on forecasts of COVID-19’s impact on state revenues Wednesday morning. Lawmakers in the Revenue Interim Committee are expected to debate whether they should send letters to Governor Steve Bullock calling for action to address possible hits to state finances.

Ahead of the debate, top Republican lawmakers sent their own letter to Bullock urging five to 15 percent cuts in state spending.

Speaker of the House Greg Hertz says cuts enacted now can prevent a “tremendous issue” during the 2021 legislative session.

Bullock spokesperson Marissa Perry says the Republicans letter is a “political stunt” and that enacting cuts now to address budget impacts expected several years down the road could harm Montanans.

Montana headed into the pandemic with a relatively high level of cash savings. Republican lawmakers and the governor are at odds over how to approach forecasts for COVID-19’s impact on revenues.