A Montana House committee is taking up the state's two-year budget with recommendations from subcommittees that met over the last two months.

Thursday's hearing first considered funding for the Department of Public Health and Human Services — the agency with the largest budget.

A subcommittee proposed cutting funding for about 100 of the agency's 400 vacant positions. Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock's office and agency Director Sheila Hogan oppose the cuts.

Hogan says losing that $9 million would hurt the state's ability to restore services lost due to budget cuts made in 2017 and cause delays in service.

Republicans say the agency didn't present those concerns to the subcommittee.

Committee Chairwoman Nancy Ballance says she expects the committee to vote on the budget next week, after which it would go to the full House.

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