State Budget Goes to Free Conference Committee - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

State Budget Goes to Free Conference Committee

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HELENA -

Today the House decided to not accept the senate's amendments to the state budget. Doing so now sends House Bill 2 to a free conference committee to hammer out a finalized budget.

This committee will include three members from the House and three from the Senate. In a free conference committee, members can make as many changes to the bill as they want. But, those changes must be adopted by a full house and senate.

On the floor today, Representative Nancy Ballance admitted she was slightly tempted to accept the senate's amendments to get the budget settled, but didn't believe it was the right thing for the state.

"The senate put a number of amendments on, they did so in good faith, the executive is wanting additional things put in and they are arguing in good faith as are we," Ballance said. "And everyone's voice needs to come to the table. We need to finish this process."

Although legislators are anxious to get the budget finalized, it expected to see a lot of back and forth on the bill....going from the committee to legislative chambers...before the budget is approved.

With only 13 days left of the 64th legislative session, lawmakers will have to kick it into gear to pass a balanced budget.

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