BUILD MONTANA $200 MILLIOM INFRASTRUCTURE PLAN 2017
Montana Gov. Steve Bullock traveled to Billings Thursday to unveil his renewed effort to fund millions of dollars in infrastructure improvements across the state.
The timing of today's announcement, the one year anniversary of the final day of the 2015 Legislature, when lawmakers went home after coming up one vote short of passing a critical infrastructure bill.
"Some legislators have had the gall to defend the defeat of an infrastructure bill, saying it was right for Montana, and a way to leave Helena with a win," said Bullock.
"They could not be more wrong. The defeat of an infrastructure bill was wrong for Montana, it was wrong for our communities, it was wrong for our schools, it was wrong for future generations, and wrong for the thousands of Montanans who would have been working on those projects, because of it," Bullock said.
The Governor's Build Montana plan calls for a $200 million dollar investment of cash and bonds in 2017, to fund roads, bridges, water systems, and school improvements.
Bullock is also proposing the creation of the Build Montana Trust, by using 75% of the revenue going into the state's Coal Tax Severance Fund, setting it aside for future infrastructure needs.
It's the same mechanism that created the Treasure State Endowment Program and Rural Water Projects, two sub-trusts that will mature next year earning enough interest to fund projects in perpetuity.
Bullock said addressing the state's crumbling infrastructure will be his number one legislative priority in 2017.
The Governor was joined Thursday by Dick Anderson, CEO of Dick Anderson Construction, the general contractor for the new Medicine Crow Middle School in the Billings Heights, the site of Bullock's announcement..