Livestock Department Faces $400,000 Budget Shortfall
BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — The Montana Board of Livestock has approved plans to cut some jobs, increase fees and ask the state for more money to avoid a potential $400,000 budget shortfall.
The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports (http://bit.ly/1onhRtB) the board approved the changes Monday so the Livestock Department could meet a Friday deadline for submitting a balanced budget.
DOL executive director Christian McKay says the cost of the department’s animal health programs and enforcing livestock laws cost $177,000 more than the per-capita fees collected, while the agency’s cash account had a $233,000 deficit.
The board voted to increase brand inspection fees from 75 cents to $1, increase lab fees by 5 percent, leave some vacant jobs open and cut enough positions to save $258,000. The agency also plans to ask the state for another $850,000 to support its lab.