Montana State Legislature

Legislative Branch

The mission of the Legislature is to exercise the legislative power of state government vested in the Legislature by the Constitution of the State of Montana (Article V). The mission of the Legislative Branch (the consolidated legislative agency as defined in 5-2-503, MCA) is to provide the administrative structure to support the mission of the Legislature.

The Legislative Branch consists of the:

  • Senate (18 committees)
  • House of Representatives (16 committees)
  • Legislative Services Division
  • Legislative Fiscal Division
  • Legislative Audit Division

The Senate and the House and their supporting divisions enact the laws of the state and fund and monitor all of the functions of state government. The branch also includes 19 interim and administrative committees. The primary statutory references defining duties and responsibilities of the branch are found in Title 5 of the MCA and Article V, Section 10(4) of the Montana Constitution.

Below is an organizational chart of the branch, including full-time employee (FTE) numbers and the HB 2 general fund expenditures and the total expenditures from all funds. Unless otherwise noted, all phone extensions are preceded by (406) 444.


This report includes a series of charts that compare expenditure growth to the growth in the economy and growth in inflation adjusted for population. Montana statute, 17-8-106, MCA, recommends using growth in personal income for comparison purposes. Personal income is a measure for growth in the economy. Comparing growth allows financial planners to consider past and future demands in services or changes in revenues.

In general, all funds growth in total expenditures for the Legislative Branch has been between inflation adjusted for population and growth in the economy as measured by personal income.

The Legislative Branch fluctuations between fiscal years is due to the cyclical nature of legislative sessions. Appropriations for legislative sessions are expended in the odd years, increasing the overall spending for the Legislative Branch. In all years, funding for permanent legislative staff in the Legislative Services, Fiscal, and Audit Divisions is expended with increases in costs for the divisions associated with the legislative sessions. In even numbered years expenditures for interim committees are made.


The following discusses in more detail the state special revenue inflection points on the chart above:

  1. Statute requires the Legislative Branch to deposit up to 30% of unexpended appropriations for personal services, operating expenses, and equipment into the legislative branch reserve account in the state special revenue fund. The funding is to be used only for major Legislative Branch information technology projects. In FY 2009 $1.1 million was used to upgrade the House/Senate vote systems. In FY 2018 improvements included:
  • $297,000 to upgrade the vote system
  • $611,000 for the session system replacement project
  • $500,000 in fund balance transferred to the general fund as required in HB 6 from the November 2017 Special Session


General fund expenditures for the Legislative Branch grew by 3.3% annually between FY 2002 and FY 2018. Personal services for permanent legislative staff make up between 75% and 80% of the general fund expenditures for the Legislative Branch. STATE


State special revenue expenditures for the Legislative Branch grew by 2.8% annually between FY 2002 and FY 2019. State special revenues include:

  •  Legislative branch reserve account
  • State broadcasting service revenues
  • Montana Code Annotated revenues
  • Charges to state agencies for certain legislative audit services

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Legislative Studies

Legislative Council interim work

Legislative Audit Reports

Financial Compliance Audit for the two fiscal years ended June 30, 2019


Bill information related to the Legislative Branch:

HB 1

HB 2

HB 13


Agency profile information provided by the Legislative Fiscal Division.

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