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House Appropriations Committee Passes Over $200 Million for Basic Infrastructure – Bonding Bill Still In Question

photo courtesy of Montana Legislature
Greg Hertz

The Montana House Appropriations Committee met on Wednesday afternoon and in four different bills allocated over $200 million for basic infrastructure.

Greg Hertz of House District 12 from Polson, also the Speaker Pro Tempore in the Montana House of Representatives, said the monies funded House Bills 5, 6, 7 and 11.

“One thing people are talking about right now is a possible bonding bill that would allow us to get a few more projects stranded out there due to a lack of cash,” Hertz said. “We have about $15 million in quality schools projects, and then we have projects such as water, sewer, roads and some bridges. We also have some reclamation projects of some rivers, irrigation and some mining areas.”

Hertz said Governor Steve Bullock’s proposed $157 million infrastructure bill would have included projects such as Romney Hall on the MSU campus, a new State Historical Museum in Helena and a Veterans Retirement Home in Butte. Hertz said those are capital projects that will not be funded by the Republican bill.

“We’re prioritizing what’s most important to our members and what we believe is most important to the public, and they include the schools, roads, water, sewer and bridges,” he said. “Those other projects, like Romney Hall, the Vets Home, Billings campus and the Great Falls campus are projects we will be discussing. They could be funded in other bills.”

Hertz said the funding bill will make its way through the House and then on to the Senate, and if passed, will go to the governor’s desk for his signature or his veto.

Hertz said the process could take several weeks. The legislative session will gavel to a close on Saturday, April 29.

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