Gov. Bullock approves group of special session bills

Governor Steve Bullock is tackling Montana’s budget gap. The governor gave approval Friday to six bills that were passed during the recent special legislative session.

The state is dealing with a budget gap of $227 million. Bullock called on a special session this month to reduce spending to fix a budget shortfall caused by costs from this summer’s wildfires and low revenue.

There were several accomplishments of the special session that recently wrapped up in Helena to fix the state’s 227 million dollar budget deficit. Doctor Al Olszewski of Kalispell says one of the most significant was to replenish the state fire fund.

“When we (the legislature) were in last session and we were looking at ways to fix our last budget, we did take half of the money out of the fire fund, because we were looking at the highest snowpack we had seen in decades,” Olszewski tells Northern News Network.

“We took a chance and we were not correct. It was important for us to come back and fix the fire fund. I can tell you right now, it’s fully funded and we’re ready and capable to handle another fire season if we have to.”

The state spent 62 million dollars this year in fighting one of the worst fire seasons in Montana history.