Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer Saturday unveiled his two-year budget proposal for the 2011 biennium, which begins July 1.

The budget calls for $3.9 billion in spending over the two years, compared to just over $4 billion expected for the current biennium.

“Montana’s economy is holding up pretty well, but nationally we know that these are difficult times,” Schweitzer said in a news release. “My budget is balanced. We have $250 million in the bank and we want to keep it there just in case the worst happens. But we still make critically needed investments, especially for our kids.”

Schweitzer, a Democrat, was easily re-elected this month. But his coattails didn’t reach to the Legislature, where Republicans control the Senate and parties split the House with 50 seats each, though Democrats named the House speaker because the tie-breaker goes to the party holding the governorship.

“I’ve said since last January that this session would feel like a belt-tightening one,” Schweitzer said. “But we’ll get through this as Montanans always have.” 

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