Governor Greg Gianforte visited Billings to engage with veterans, business owners, legislators, and advocates in a discussion centered around the benefits of Senate Bill 104. The bill, set to take effect on January 1, will allow veterans to exempt up to 50 percent of their military retirement pay from state income tax. The governor emphasized the importance of making Montana more attractive to veterans, highlighting the positive impact their presence has on communities and the overall strength of the state.
During a press conference at Red Oxx, a veteran-owned business in Billings, Governor Gianforte underscored the significance of Senate Bill 104, sponsored by Senator John Fuller, in making Montana competitive for veterans. The legislation, signed into law in the spring, aims to encourage retired military personnel to choose Montana as their home. Senator Fuller urged high-ranking military officials to consider Montana not only for its scenic beauty but also as a place to contribute to the local economy, emphasizing the skills and discipline veterans bring to the workforce.
Key proponents of the bill, including Roger Hagan, a veteran and Legislative Chairman of the Montana Department of the American Legion, and Tim Sheehy, a veteran and CEO of Bridger Aerospace, joined the governor at the press conference. They highlighted the economic benefits of attracting military retirees, noting their education, drug-free status, and healthcare as valuable assets to Montana’s workforce. Governor Gianforte emphasized the exceptional qualifications of veterans, acknowledging their potential as employees and entrepreneurs.
Jim Markel, CEO of Red Oxx and a veteran himself, shared a personal perspective, noting the potential positive impact such legislation could have had on his own business journey. The governor’s focus on tearing down barriers for veterans, providing incentives for their employment, and ensuring support services for their thriving aligns with his broader Montana Comeback Plan, designed to revitalize the state’s economy and opportunities for its residents.
Big Sky Headlines Staff