Bullock's Infrastructure Package Hits Resistance From Montana Republicans
Gov. Steve Bullock’s plan for public works projects across the state advanced out of subcommittee review Thursday and the conservative majority is starting to pick it apart.
Republicans stripped out just over $17 million in proposed borrowing that Gov. Bullock’s bill laid out to pay for county and local government infrastructure projects.
Republicans are suggesting the state pay for the projects with cash, and not the state-issued bonds Bullock prefers.
Republican Rep. Mike Hopkins is the chair of the joint subcommittee reviewing the projects.
“At some point it becomes a discussion about what is the proper role of bonding in state government."
Whether or not to use debt to pay for infrastructure projects is a regular fight in the Montana Legislature. A fight that will continue in the coming weeks as the package of bills that includes Bullock’s now moves on to the House appropriations committee.
The public works package for hundreds of millions of dollars in projects includes grants for local water, wastewater, and bridges. It also contains projects that have faced opposition in the past, like a $32 million bonding proposal to renovate Romney Hall at Montana State University.