Montana Public Radio

Butte Democrat Works To Steer Infrastructure Bills Through The Legislature

Apr 6, 2017

Representative Jim Keane often refers to his infrastructure bills as "vehicles." The Butte Democrat continues to steer those bills through the process. This time to the Senate Finance and Claims Committee.

"Mr. Chairman, members of the committee I view myself as a truck driver," Keane says.

Keane uses the metaphor that these public works bills are "trucks" carrying money for projects to help communities all across Montana fix their crumbling water and sewer systems and bridges projects, and fund other long range needs.

Rep. Jim Keane, D - HD73
Credit Montana Legislature

Keane is the sponsor of House Bills 5, 6, 7, and 11. All were presented to the Senate Finance and Claims Committee on their next stop through the legislative process.

"So let's do your work," says Keane. "Slam the doors shut on the trucks. Let's get them loaded. Let's get 'em out there. Let’s get 'em running all over the state of Montana dumping off money in every county in the state, Mr. Chairman."

Each bill hearing was brief, in part to advice from the bill sponsor and the committee chairman. No one spoke against any of the bills. The committee may take action on these and House Bill 9 for the cultural and aesthetic grants on Friday.

Keane reminded lawmakers that even more communities will benefit if a bonding bill passes and is signed into law by the governor.  Friday, the House Appropriations Committee has scheduled a hearing on the Senate’s bonding proposal – Senate Bill 367.