Governor Bullock announces $200 million infrastructure funding p - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Governor Bullock announces $200 million infrastructure funding plan

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Governor Steve Bullock was in town Thursday, announcing the launch of his infrastructure funding plan.

Governor Bullock said going into the 2017 legislative session, his number one priority is to invest in Montana's infrastructure.

The proposal includes funding for infrastructure projects, including water and waste water systems, schools and universities, as well as roads and bridges.

It is something with which he has been unable to make significant progress in so far.

"For two legislative sessions in a row, I've proposed significant, if not historic infrastructure investments that would strengthen our communities. It would create jobs and grow our economy. In both of those sessions, a small group of legislatures were able to stop thousands of Montanans from going to work, thousands of jobs dead in their tracks for no other reason than political gamesmanship," said Governor Bullock.

The man running against him has a different perspective, saying the proposal is purely political and offensive to those who have been waiting years for infrastructure improvements.

"We've waited four years and not gotten infrastructure, there's been a lack of delivery. In fact the Governor vetoed infrastructure in 2013, and then because of a lack of leadership we didn't get any infrastructure approved in 2015. It's clear to me as I travel around the state, people want new leadership in Helena," said gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte.

Governor Bullock is proposing putting $200 million dollars towards these projects, through a mix of cash and different bonds.

The second part of the funding plan is the Build Montana Trust.  The money will come out of a sub-trust of the Coal Severance Tax Trust Fund, which is already in place.

His hope for the trust fund is that it will accumulate money the state will be able to dip into and commit to infrastructure as future needs arise.

 "If you want to thrive a community, large or small, you have to make sure you take care of that so that folks have clean water, have decent roads...have the ability for businesses to know, 'if I come to your community, I'm going to have what I need'," said Governor Bullock.

The Governor told us not all of the improvements will be able to happen in his time in office, but the point is to invest in generations of Montanans to come.

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