The Montana Senate passed a $98 million infrastructure bonding bill today, March 30, clearing the way for the House to move forward. According to Senate Majority leader Fred Thomas, the bill addresses three main infrastructure issues.

“There is about $30 million of projects throughout Montana for school district improvements, roofs, helping with new school buildings, that sort of thing,” said Thomas. “About a third of it then as well goes to the University System, such as Romney Hall at MSU in Bozeman. MSU has another project in there. There is a Great Falls project and University buildings that are state obligations. Then there is smattering of other things, but targeting water and sewer districts in rural communities that need help.”

Thomas says he expects the House won’t have to change the bill too much, and that one big project was removed.

“The Historical Society Museum, about $30 million, is not in this bill and its proposal to consider it is in the house,” Thomas said. “It would not be bonded, it would be funded under a different scenario. I think this bill is in pretty good shape as it is. We are not saying it is the only way to go, but we are saying it is a good structured bill.”

The bonding project bill is just one of three major infrastructure categories the legislature will consider. Thomas says even if the bonding bill doesn’t pass the house, the legislature will deal with infrastructure for sure this year and has already passed a couple hundred million dollar cash infrastructure bill and a $150 million highway construction bill.