2019 Legislative session kicks off

HELENA (AP) — Lawmakers from around Montana are gathering at the state Capitol in Helena for the start of the 2019 Legislature.

Opening ceremonies are scheduled at noon Monday in both the House and the Senate.

Key issues during the 90-day session include a proposed $10.3 billion budget for the next two fiscal years, whether to continue Medicaid expansion along with finding a way to pay for infrastructure work.

Senators and representatives on both sides of the aisle say they expect Medicaid expansion to continue in some form. Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock is proposing some new taxes, but Republican leaders say there’s little appetite for that among members of the majority party.

The governor’s proposed budget includes additional funding for the university system so campuses don’t have to raise tuition.

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