Governor Steve Bullock today released the following statement as hearings begin on his infrastructure proposal to the Montana Legislature.
“In order to ensure the continued growth of our economy and the creation of good paying jobs for Montanans, we must make certain that our rural and urban communities have efficient and reliable infrastructure,” said Governor Bullock. “The Legislature should work with me to put shovels to dirt and build a future for Montana that our kids can live and raise their families in.”
Hearings begin today in the House Joint Appropriations Subcommittee on Long-Range Planning on House Bill 14, proposed by Governor Bullock and carried by Representative Ryan Lynch.
HB 14 includes $160 million in bonding components to support local and state infrastructure projects. Included in the package is the $44 million Delivering Local Assistance grant program that will allow local governments impacted by growth or decline associated with coal, oil, or gas development to request grants to help alleviate infrastructure strains. Additionally, under the grant program, all rural local governments with the total population of the incorporated city, town or consolidated local government less than 20,000 persons are eligible to apply for broadband installation for infrastructure projects.
The estimated impacts to Montana’s economy from the public infrastructure investment funded by HB 14 include $266.2 million in total economic output, supporting a total of 1,858 jobs earning $94.4 million in labor income within the state.
Governor Bullock has proposed to the 2019 Montana Legislature a total of $294 million investment in infrastructure financed through a responsible mix of cash and bonds, with the majority of the investment provided to projects in local communities throughout the state.
Under Governor Bullock’s tenure during the 2013-2017 legislative sessions, nearly $300 million has been invested in local communities across the state and for the Montana University System to make infrastructure upgrades, helping to improve Montana’s infrastructure report card to a ‘C’ today up from a ‘C minus’ grade in 2014.