HELENA, Mont. – Thursday, April 28, 2016, Governor Steve Bullock launched his plan to fund millions of dollars of infrastructure needs across Montana and create thousands of good-paying jobs now and for future generations of Montanans.
“My number one priority moving into the 2017 legislative session is once again to invest in infrastructure across the state, and I am calling on every legislator that comes to Helena in January to put Montana jobs over Montana politics and get this done,” said Bullock, speaking at a press conference in Billings.
“Together we can build up Montana’s infrastructure to ensure that Montana communities, businesses, and residents have efficient and reliable infrastructure that sets the foundation for a thriving economy, creates countless jobs, and protects Montana’s quality of life for this and all future generations,” he continued.
Bullock was joined by Dick Anderson, CEO of Dick Anderson Construction as he called on Montana legislators to put aside partisan politics and responsibly invest in Montana’s infrastructure needs, including water and wastewater systems, public schools and universities, roads and bridges, and create good-paying jobs and grow Montana’s economy.
“Infrastructure repair and development in Montana is one of the keys to our continued economic success and Montanans cannot afford to have our infrastructure continue to deteriorate because the legislature’s inaction and political posturing,” Dick Anderson said. “Montana is a place we are all proud to live, raise our families, build businesses, and call home. Governor Bullock is taking a bold step to develop a sustainable way to fund important infrastructure, and ensure the Montana we pass on to our kids and grandkids is even better than today.”
Bullock’s plan calls for a $200 million investment of cash and bonds during the 2017 legislature to fund critical infrastructure needs across the state. In addition, Bullock is proposing a long-term funding mechanism for the infrastructure needs of the next generation of Montanans.
Bullock is proposing dedicating 75% of the revenue coming in to the Coal Tax Severance Fund to create the Build Montana Trust to fund Montana’s infrastructure needs in the future. The two of the previous sub-trusts that fund the Treasure State Endowment Program (TSEP) and Rural Water Projects will mature in 2017 and be fully funded, meaning that while no additional revenue will flow into the trusts, the corpus’ will generate enough interest to fund projects in perpetuity.
The Build Montana Trust will begin accumulating resources to ensure that the future generation of Montanans is able to invest in infrastructure, create jobs, and continue to grow Montana’s economy.