The House Appropriations Committee has been looking into the state’s massive General Fund Budget Bill all week. Subcommittees have been looking at pieces of that bill for the last two months, like Education, Corrections, Health and Human Services, etc.
The full appropriations committee now needs to broadly consider the entire, $3.5 billion House Bill 2 as well as any amendments before voting to send it to the House floor.
And there are a lot of amendments being proposed to House Bill 2–about 100 of them as of Friday afternoon.These range from several being requested by the Montana University System to Title X funding for family planning.
In recent sessions, the appropriations committee would consider amendments at the same time they examined that section of the budget; i.e. examining amendments regarding K-12 schools when discussing education.
House Appropriations Committee Chair Representative Duane Ankney (R-Colstrip) is trying a different tactic this year. He is examining the sections of the budget piece by piece. For instance, the committee is looking at the education portion of the bill today. But instead of dealing with amendments during the time their respective section is being discussed–the committee will be looking at all the proposed amendments in one marathon meeting on Monday.