Elections and Government Services Administrative Rules of Montana Business Services Notary and Certification Records and Information Management

February 10, 2010

CONTACT INFORMATION: Terri McCoy, (406) 444-2807

McCulloch Cuts SOS Spending by 18% in First Year
Secretary of State Eliminates Over $1.3 Million in Unnecessary Spending; Salary savings of $153,000; Travel down $76,000; HAVA spending down $450,000

HELENA, MT – During her first year as Montana Secretary of State, Linda McCulloch cut spending in the Secretary of State’s office by 18% - a reduction equal to more than $1.3 million.

Cuts include an 84% reduction in travel, a 70% reduction in temporary staffing and more than a 60% reduction in overtime pay. McCulloch also closed an underutilized office building, canceled underperforming contracts, left vacant positions unfilled, declined her statutory pay increase, limited supply orders and discontinued the use of an office Motor Pool car.

“I reviewed the budget on day one, and took an axe to the budget on day two,” McCulloch said. “We cut spending by 18% in one year, but there’s still more to do. I will continue to look for ways to save money.”

Unlike most state agencies, the Secretary of State’s office is an Enterprise Fund. This means the office is not financed by the state’s General Fund. Instead, the office must operate with revenue generated through fees charged for services such as business filings, notary applications and records management.

The office also uses federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) funds to help cover the cost of important federal requirements such as the statewide voter file and voter accessibility equipment for counties. Since 2003, Montana has received $17 million in HAVA funding. However, the state has only $3.3 million in HAVA funds remaining. That funding will likely be fully exhausted by 2012 if additional funding is not appropriated by Congress.

To stretch Montana’s waning HAVA funds, McCulloch reduced HAVA spending by more than $450,000 – a 35% cut from the previous year.

Enterprise & HAVA Spending
Detailed Report

Calendar Year

SOS Enterprise Spending

SOS HAVA Spending

Total SOS Spending











$ Decrease




% Decrease




“No cut was too small,” McCulloch said. “We had to look at the large ticket items, as well as the small ticket items in order to make a significant impact. Everyone on the staff made sacrifices. This was truly a team effort.”