A Montana House committee has advanced a nearly $10.3 billion budget to fund state services over the next two years.

The committee's budget, which will see some changes, is nearly $28 million less than Gov. Steve Bullock proposed.

Lawmakers on the House Appropriations Committee made several amendments to sections of the funding bill Monday and the overall bill passed 16-6. It now goes to the full House.

In one amendment, the state Auditor's Office eliminated seven vacant positions at a savings of just over $1 million, but asked for permission to spend an additional $350,000 to continue efforts to investigate and challenge the high cost of prescription drugs.

All told, Auditor Matt Rosendale proposed a $650,000 cut to state funding for his office.

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