Through the state budget, we as Montanans identify, prioritize, and fund the public services we all rely on for our safety, prosperity, and stability. Our state budget can be used to promote future economic prosperity and health through investments that create opportunities for American Indians and all Montana’s residents, but this is only possible with substantial input and advocacy from Indian Country.
While the federal budget plays a significant role in relieving poverty, promoting health, and building economic opportunity, the state budget also has a substantial impact on the lives of American Indians living on and off reservations in Montana.
This State-Tribal Budget Handbook serves as an overview of how the state budgeting process works and how American Indians can get involved. Section 1 summarizes the history of state and tribal government relationships surrounding the state budget and explores why there is significant room for growth. Section 2 provides a summary of Indian Country’s economic contributions to the state. It also reviews how the state budget impacts tribes, including a list of critical services funded through state investment. Section 3 provides a detailed timeline of the budgeting and legislative processes in Montana. This is followed by an overview of how a bill becomes law, and how to track legislative activity online. Section 4 provides outlines strategies for tribal leaders and engaged citizens to influence the process. Finally, Section 5 provides a directory of related contacts within and outside state government.
View the full document Taking a Seat at the Table: State Budget Handbook for Indian Country.