Debate opens on governor’s $293M infrastructure package

Debate on Gov. Steve Bullock’s $293 million public works package began Friday, with state officials, contractors, students and union representatives urging lawmakers to fund the projects despite Montana’s current budget crunch. A legislative budget panel opened a hearing on a bond measure sponsored by Rep. Jim Keane, D-Butte, that is a major part of the governor’s package. The bill’s projects include repairs to roads, bridges, water systems and wastewater systems across the state. It also includes school maintenance and building projects. The bond bill would cover $157 million worth of projects, and the overall package would be paid for with a mix of cash and bonds.

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