HELENA — A proposal by Montana Governor Steve Bullock calls for $440 million in infrastructure projects across the state, including rural water projects, dam upgrades, a state museum, and new university buildings.
As the Legislature meets this winter and spring, one of lawmakers’ chief tasks is deciding how much of that request the governor — and Montana communities — will get. The infrastructure package comes in addition to Bullock’s proposal for state agency spending, which, including federally funded programs, totals $6.6 billion in fiscal year 2020.
With the Democratic governor proposing to cover nearly half the infrastructure proposal with bonding, large portions are likely to face a chilly reception from fiscal conservatives who’ve blocked bonding measures in recent sessions. Some GOP lawmakers, however, say they have a plan in the works to improve the process and fund worthy projects.
Eric Dietrich is a journalist and data designer and the founder of the Long Streets economic reporting project. His reporting focuses broadly on Montana’s governance and economic opportunity, with particular focus on the state budget and tax policy. He also contributes data reporting across the MTFP newsroom. Before joining the MTFP staff in 2019, he worked for the Great Falls Tribune, Bozeman Daily Chronicle, and Solutions Journalism Network and also earned an engineering degree from Montana State University. Contact Eric at email@example.com, 406-465-3386 ext. 2, and follow him on Twitter.