By Amy R. Sisk
Community News Service
University of Montana School of Journalism
Remember when lawmakers in the Senate intended to send an additional $120 million to public schools? That number has now dropped to $42 million, reported Mike Dennison of Lee Newspapers. The Legislature’s major school funding bill looks significantly different now after clearing the House Education Committee, and there’s no telling what will happen when it reaches the floor.
Back on the Senate side, Dennison’s colleague, Charles S. Johnson, reports that a committee has tabled the bill that would have appropriated nearly $100 million in state cash for some new university system buildings and a new home for the Montana Historical Society. Now there’s talk of reviving a bill that would pay for the work through the sale of bonds. For another take on the story, check out Dan Boyce’s report for Montana Public Radio.
Jackie Yamanaka of Yellowstone Public Radio covered a hearing on a Republican senator’s bill offering taxpayers a one-time shot at income-tax relief. The governor’s office isn’t happy with the proposal, saying wealthy Montanans would benefit most.
Meanwhile, the Associated Press reports that Senate leaders have reached a deal regarding last Friday’s chaotic floor session. The Republican Senate president has agreed to drop subpoenas against his colleagues across the aisle, while Democratic leaders pledged to help the GOP reform the political practices office.