Democrats vow to block infrastructure funding

Helena – A pair of leading state Democrats vowed to block Republican efforts to pass an infrastructure bill this legislative session because the bill doesn’t spend enough money on the projects they want.

Senate Minority Leader Jon Sesso, R-Butte, and House Minority Jenny Eck, D-Helena, said the Democrats will not support House Bill 645, known as the bonding bill, because it does not include projects they want funded. Those projects including: renovating Romney Hall at Montana State University-Bozeman, a new veterans home in Butte, and building projects at MSU-Billings and Great Falls College of Technology.

Mr. Sesso told Montana Public Radio, “They have made this clear last night that their interpretation about what infrastructure is. Which is apparently just water and sewer projects at the local level.”

The bill would require 67 votes to pass the House because of the bonding component, Republicans have 59 votes in the house. A minimum of 8 Democrats would have to support the bill to pass it but on Wednesday Eck said, “As this bill currently stands they do not have the Democratic caucus. That much I can say.”

The proposal would issue $30 Million in bonds to pay for water, sewer, road and school projects across Montana. The bill is being carried by Representative Mike Cuffe, R-Eureka.

By: Big Sky Headlines Staff