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Montana Republican Proposes State Give $8M for Border Wall

Montana last year faced a massive budget shortfall affecting health and human services across the state

HELENA — Montana’s Democratic governor calls a Republican lawmaker’s proposal to spend $8 million in state money on President Donald Trump’s proposed wall on the Mexican border puzzling.

Democrat Gov. Steve Bullock on Thursday declined to say if he would veto the bill should it arrive on his desk. But he says it doesn’t make sense to use Montana taxpayer dollars on federal projects.

Bullock says he doesn’t recall state Senate President Scott Sales ever strongly advocating for infrastructure investments in Montana and that $8 million could go a long way in the state.

Sales says his proposal is meant to show that border security is important to all U.S. citizens regardless of their state.

At least one other state, South Dakota, is considering voicing support for Trump’s wall. But Montana, which last year faced a massive budget shortfall, appears to be the first to propose spending its own money on the project.

Sales says his proposal is a “small token” to show border security “is of vital interest to all citizens regardless of what state they live in.”

House Minority Leader Casey Schreiner, a Democrat, says he’d like to see Sales focus on building Montana’s infrastructure.

Trump headed to the U.S.-Mexico border on Thursday amid a government shutdown over the $5.7 billion he’s seeking for the wall.

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