When the gavel sounded to close the 64th Montana legislative session, a sigh of relief could be heard from the office of the Commissioner of Higher Education. 

Deputy Commissioner Kevin McRae said just after the close of the session on Tuesday that the legislature was generous to higher education.

"This was a strong, productive legislative session for students, and for that matter, employers and communities associated with the university system," McRae said. "By a result of the legislature's budget actions, nearly $50 million dollars was invested in additional funding across the state for higher education."

McRae said the extra funds make it possible to assist students attending Montana's colleges and universities.

"The extra funds over the next two years do situate us well to be able to continue reaching across Montana providing excellent education without having to increase tuition for resident Montana students," he said.

McRae said officials were also pleased with a bill passed that would continue to keep guns off college campuses.

"From a policy perspective, we at the Commissioner's office think it's good news that the legislature did not see fit to arm students and the public on campus," he said. "There was a gun bill that some had advocated to allow the carrying of guns on campuses, and the legislature did defeat that bill."

The legislature adjourned three days early without passing any infrastructure bills.