HELENA (AP) — Gov. Steve Bullock's proposed $500 million spending increase in his state budget plan could be a key issue for Republican legislative leaders.
Republican Sen. Dave Lewis of Helena says he thinks the requested spending increases over the two-year budget period are the largest in recent decades.
Big chunks pay for Bullock proposals that include a $400-per-homeowner tax rebate, more school funding, along with state employee pay increases and pension fixes.
Republican budget leaders say they will make committee votes Friday to start budget discussions at 2012 spending levels. Over the next two months each proposed increase will be hashed out agency by agency.