h/t Big Sky Business Journal Hot Sheet
A lot of attention statewide is being focused on the Build Montana Act which is House Bill 5. The legislation is getting lots of attention because it involves almost every community in the state in a long list of infrastructure projects totaling $391.2 million.
Every legislator will be advocating for their community’s projects. In Yellowstone County there are nine grant requests involving county government and that of several towns, including a new bridge, and refurbishing of irrigation systems, school buildings and water systems.
The point around which much of the debate will swirl is whether the projects will be funded with cash, only, or should the state go into debt in order to do all of the projects, as the Governor wants to do. It’s been estimated that there is about $300 million available for the projects in cash. Governor Steve Bulloch wants to borrow about $212 million in addition to cash to fund all of the projects, which would double the state’s total debt.