Apr 16, 2013 7:55 PM by Marnee Banks (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Montana Senate gave the final nod to three major pieces of legislation on Tuesday.
Topping the list is House Bill 2 - the state's budget - which spends $9 billion dollars in state and federal money; it passed in a 32-18 vote.
It pays for everything from Montana's prison system to care for the disabled and elderly and wildlife management.
The Senate also passed House Bill 5, which provides funding for the construction of nine state buildings across Montana; it passed in a vote of 31-19.
Governor Bullock originally proposed to pay for 11 projects but the Senate took out the Montana Heritage Center in Helena and the Romney Gym at Montana State University in Bozeman. The controversial UM College in Missoula is still in the bill.
The Senate also gave a green light to House Bill 13, the state employee pay plan.
Under the bill state workers who have not received a raise in the last four years will get a pay increase.
The bill allocates $62 million dollars to pay for it.
The pay plan passed with 36 Senators supporting it.
These bills have all previously passed the House but because the Senate made some changes to each bill, all three will head back to the House for another vote.