Cowboy Note: I’ve seen many comments asking for bill numbers at the legislature, my apologies on not including them sometimes, it’s hard to keep track of all these bills. Sorry. Also, if Austin Knudsen was a leader he could get the bill passed last week and quit wasting taxpayers dollars on his paycheck and instead fix our roads and bridges.
Call your legislator today at 406-444-4800
Tell them to support SB 367 and HB 645
Infrastructure, Jobs, Safety for Montana
By Governor Steve Bullock
This week we learned Montana leads the nation in job growth. Our unemployment rate is nearing historic lows while more Montanans are at work than ever. And we have a stable business climate that allows both our small and large businesses in communities across the state to grow, expand and create more good-paying jobs.
In the last two legislative sessions, I worked with Republicans and Democrats to craft bipartisan, fiscally responsible budgets that set the foundation for our thriving economy. And as you can see, the results of that work are reflected in our strong economic growth and the fiscal health of our state. We put aside some of our political differences to do what’s right for all the Montanans who love and call this state home.
But now I need your help. There are some folks in the legislature who are standing in the way of further progress and are playing politics with the future of our communities. To keep up with our state’s growth, I asked the legislature to send me a major infrastructure bill – as one of the first bills of the session. To show Montanans that investing in our communities and in our workers is a top priority.
I proposed a bill that addresses the immediate needs of Montana communities financed through a responsible mix of cash and borrowing – the same way you or I would buy a car, or a house, or make long-term investments in our communities. And thanks to smart fiscal management of our state finances, Montana has a sterling bond rating, which means we can borrow for cheap.
The primary engine of an infrastructure program is construction work – fixing roads, upgrading bridges and building buildings – but that’s not the only economic benefit. Workers will eat, drink and sleep at Main Street businesses, local suppliers will sell materials and equipment for jobs, hard-working Montanans will have more money in their pockets to spend at local businesses, and our communities will be able to keep up with our state’s positive economic growth.
So it’s pretty simple: an infrastructure bill will create jobs, strengthen our economy and build Montana. Unfortunately, since the day I first called on the legislature to send me a bipartisan infrastructure bill, there has been a lot of debate on how it should be funded, which projects would be made a priority, and what legislator should carry the bill. I said from the beginning that I don’t care who gets credit. I care about results. And I think you do too.
Over the coming days and weeks, I’m encouraging every Montanan to tell your legislator why infrastructure is so important to your community. Whether it’s a crumbling bridge, a school building in need of repair, or a decades-old water intake facility, remind your elected officials that this bill should not be held up by politics. Not this time.
Montanans should have no tolerance for the same political games that doomed similar attempts to invest in infrastructure in previous sessions. They can either get this done over the next two weeks or they can point fingers about it for the next two years while our infrastructure crumbles. Contact your legislator and help me send them a message: get it done.