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Legislators hear $50M in pitches for infrastructure projects

The $50 million infrastructure bill includes buildings on college campuses statewide. (GoGriz.com)

By Cole Grant/UM Legislative News Service

HELENA – Lawmakers heard proposals Monday for infrastructure projects across the state, from upgrades to university system buildings to wildlife habitat programs.

House Bill 5 allocates more than $50 million in federal and state money to infrastructure. The largest portion of that money — $13,324,000 — would go to securing land for the Habitat Montana program, which, among other things, encourages wildlife conservation among landowners.

“These are the vehicles that actually build things around the state of Montana,” said Rep. Jim Keane, D-Butte, who’s carrying the bill.

Governor Steve Bullock’s office proposed the list of projects last November.

“The cards are certainly in the legislature’s hands, and we hope that you can come to a resolution for all Montana,” said Dan Villa, Bullock’s budget director.

Now that the Long Range Planning Subcommittee has discussed the bill, it’s in the full House Appropriations Committee, which did not take immediate action on it.

Cole Grant is a reporter with the UM Legislative News Service, a partnership of the University of Montana School of Journalism, the Montana Broadcasters Association and the Greater Montana Foundation.

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