Legislature adjourns after failing to pass crucial infrastructure bill

4-28-15

After more shenanigans in the Montana House of Representatives, the session’s key infrastructure bill -- SB 416 -- is dead.
 

SB 416 needed to pass.  It should have passed.  SB 416 was less than half of the GREAT infrastructure bill – HB 5 – that Republican Representative Jeff Weldon introduced on behalf of Governor Steve Bullock.
 

HB 5 received huge support from contractors, bankers, developers, AFL-CIO, MEA-MFT – all folks engaged in the everyday business of growing Montana, putting Montanans to work on useful, long-enduring, much needed infrastructure.  But HB 5 never made it out of the House. 
 

Then Republican Senator John Brenden introduced SB 416, a trimmed down but none the less purposeful alternative that would have stimulated quality infrastructure development across Montana. 
 

Much of that infrastructure was about MEA-MFT, our members, and the folks our members serve.
 

• $7.6 million to expand mental health facilities at Warm Springs and Lewistown.
• $23 million to renovate Romney Hall at MSU/Bozeman.
• $25 million to help build a proper Montana Historical Society building.

Losing SB 416 is a loss. You can pin that loss on the Tea Party-dominated House.
 

Yes, provoked by Governor Bullock, this legislature did some terrific stuff:  School Funding, State Pay Plan, Medicaid Expansion, Water Compact, Campaign Finance Reform.  But it could have/should have done more. It should have passed SB 416.

Legislative adjournment nears, without public works bill

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