Schweitzer Orders 35 percent Cut in Travel Budgets

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – Tighter budgets have state government employees stretching their training dollars.

Gov. Brian Schweitzer has ordered agencies under his control to cut their out-of-state travel expenses paid out of the state’s general fund by 35 percent.

Schweitzer’s chief of staff, Vivian Hammill, passed the order on to department directors in August. His order does not apply to the judicial and legislative branches.

Schweitzer says agencies may reduce the number of people they send to a conference or look at taking advantage of online training.

In the 2009 fiscal year that ended June 30, the Legislative Fiscal Division says Montana’s out-of-state travel expenses paid by the general fund totaled $1.3 million. About $1 million came from agencies under Schweitzer’s control, so the potential savings with the cuts the governor ordered is about $350,000.

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