HELENA — State senators moved to cut 5 percent out of the Legislature's own budget amid criticism to looming cuts for other areas of government.
The so-called "feed bill" pays for operation of the Legislature and is normally routine. But it unexpectedly hit the news earlier this month when Gov. Brian Schweitzer criticized lawmakers for tapping taxpayer money to get new, personal laptop computers.
Then House Democrats opposed the measure after pointing out it included previously scheduled small increases for per diem and health care reimbursement. The Democrats argued the increases sent the wrong message after the Republican majority made a move to cut state program budgets.
The Senate Finance Committee agreed Thursday night to cut $451,000 out of the $8.8 million for two years of the Legislature.