MT lawmakers draft multibillion-dollar Covid relief bill this week

HELENA — From child-care grants to Covid-19 testing to $1 billion of infrastructure projects, Montana lawmakers this week must mash together the kitchen-sink of spending bills, authorizing as much as $3 billion of federal Covid relief and stimulus funds.

A trio of budget panels made recommendations Friday, after just one week of combing through the mass of proposals to spend the money.

Now, another panel of lawmakers – the Joint Select Committee on House Bill 632 – must write the bill’s first draft and prepare it for a hearing this week, followed by likely action on the House floor next week.