HELENA, MT – Governor Steve Bullock highlighted Montana’s significant track record in creating jobs and maintaining fiscal responsibility as the Montana Chamber of Commerce met in Helena for its annual Business Days at the Capitol.
“There is a lot to be excited about right now, from a government that lives within its means, businesses that are constantly innovating and leading the nation, to a growing, highly-skilled workforce that can compete in the global market,” Bullock told the Chamber during his keynote address Wednesday.
Bullock noted that wages are increasing across the state, businesses are growing, and Montana’s 4.0% percent unemployment rate is well below the national average.
“Montana has been consistently ranked among the top 10 in the nation for innovation and entrepreneurship, business and tax climate, and income growth,” Bullock said, adding that Montana ranks first in the nation for entrepreneurial activity.
Bullock also touted the Montana Legislature’s bipartisan work in passing a balanced budget that includes a rainy day fund and responsible investments that support economic growth. He also noted that state spending for the last fiscal year came in $32 million under budget.
But Bullock vowed that he has more work to do, saying that he’s fighting for jobs for veterans, affordable health care, retirement benefits, public education, equal pay for equal work, and improved education “which benefits us all.” Bullock also stressed the importance of strengthening Montana’s outdoor heritage and public lands, which sustain tens of thousands of Montana jobs and generate billions of dollars for Montana’s economy every year.
“Our public lands should be public, not sold to the highest bidder or transferred to states that can’t afford to manage them,” Bullock said.
During his remarks, Bullock also highlighted the successes of his Main Street Montana Project initiative, including his Choose Montana workforce recruitment plan.