Bullock Touts State Budget as Hedge Against COVID 19
Montana Gov. Steve Bullock says the state does not need to make across-the-board budget cuts in response to the economic impact of the coronavirus.
At a press conference on Wednesday, Bullock touted Montana’s current financial condition, thanks to incoming revenue from taxpayers.
“We entered into fiscal year 2020 which went from June of las year to until the end of this June with an unobligated general fund balance of just over $360 million,” said Bullock. “That’s money in the bank beyond the anticipated government spending for that period.”
Bullock went on to list the various fund balances in state government.
“Coming out of the 2017 legislative session, and for the first time in our state’s history we created a Budget Stabilization Reserve Fund,” he said. “So, the $360 million general fund balance which we enjoyed last spring allowed us to transfer $57 million into the reserve fund, filling it to the maximum allowed under state law which is $117 million.”
He then said as revenue fall in the state, the monies put away in these funds will help to get the state through the pandemic.
“Revenue declines are just starting to materialize,” he said. “Yet, because of our strong fiscal management leading up to this crisis we are better prepared and in a stronger financial position than most other states in the country. Leaving the money in the bank is allowing us the time to gauge and understand the economic impacts of COVID 19.”
The Republican led legislature and the Democrat governor were able to work together to build up a strong cushion against the COVID 19 emergency.