The president of Montana's Senate wants a bill to allocate $8 million toward funding a wall at the nation's southern border, saying the state can afford to pitch in the money.
"We have, just within the current rate of revenue that's coming in, we can afford to pay for the $8 million," Montana Senate President Scott Sales said Wednesday, according to The Independent Record in Helena.
Sales, a Republican from Boseman, said he has asked for a draft bill to help build the wall, but Democrats are not on board.
“Let’s prioritize building stuff in Montana, which we’ve unfortunately not been able to do, and not focus on spending money out of state,” said House Minority Leader Casey Schreiner, a Democrat from Great Falls.
Montana underwent large budget cuts in 2017, but some of the reductions were restored last year, and Sales said the state can now spare the money.
Further, Sales pointed out that Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock has called for $30 million to spend on a public preschool program, so the state can also help pay for a border wall.
Montana borders with Canada, but Sales said he's not concerned with the northern border.
"I don't think we've ever really had much of a problem with Canadians coming illegally into the U.S.," said Sales.
He added that he can't answer about whether Bullock will veto the border wall bill. However, the Senate leader plans to bring in a resolution calling for the state's support of the wall, and Bullock can't veto that.