Governor Steve Bullock yesterday highlighted infrastructure and budget priorities during an address at the Montana Association of Counties (MACo) Midwinter Conference, and urged legislators to act quickly now that Montana is more than one-third of the way through the 65th Legislative Session.
Governor Bullock asked for support from MACo in urging legislators to get an infrastructure bill to his desk.
“From East to West, we have scores of projects that we need to get done, putting people to work to build Montana’s economy,” said Governor Bullock. “Let’s make sure this generation of Montanans is able to get dirt moving on shovel-ready infrastructure projects now – putting thousands of Montanans to work. Please call your legislators and tell them to pass this bill.”
House Bill 14, the Governor Bullock’s proposed infrastructure plan, advanced through the Joint Subcommittee on Long-Range Planning last week and is currently waiting for a hearing in House Appropriations Committee. The Build Montana Plan would make a $292 million investment in infrastructure financed through a responsible mix of cash and bonds, and create over 1,900 jobs for Montanans.
Governor Bullock also discussed the budget and his concerns for cuts that lawmakers have proposed that would hurt Montana kids, seniors, and their families.
“Montanans expect our state leaders to live within our means and to make responsible, at times difficult, decisions about our state finances,” said Governor Bullock. “While Montanans expect us to balance our budget, they also expect us to invest in areas that grow our state’s economy and ensure the economic and socioeconomic well-being of our friends, families and neighbors.”
Governor Bullock has proposed a budget that calls for a modest total biennial spending increase of 1.4 percent, and makes responsible decisions about state finances while investing in areas that grow the state’s economy and create jobs. Republican lawmakers have proposed slashing nearly $120 million from critical community services for Montana families, seniors and children.