HELENA - Some legislative budget panels began casting votes Monday with at the urging of House and Senate Democratic and Republican appropriation chairmen who asked them to vote for or against a budget idea or, if necessary, to defer action.
Senate Finance Chairman Keith Bales, R-Otter, and House Appropriations Chairman Jon Sesso, D-Butte, sent a memo Monday calling on subcommittee members to cast budget votes.
Their action followed Gov. Brian Schweitzer's criticism Friday that the subcommittees were stalling on votes and that he intended to work on individual lawmakers to jump-start the votes. Both lawmakers said it was unrelated to Schweitzer's prompting.
Schweitzer was upset because some subcommittees decided last week not to vote on budget issues, preferring to wait they knew more about the federal economic stimulus bill or heard updates on Montana's falling projected revenues.