After Congress passed the American Rescue Plan Act, sending billions of dollars to Montana, lawmakers quickly drafted House Bill 632 to start the process of spending that money. The bill passed the House of Representatives with broad bipartisan support last week before landing in the Senate Finance and Claims Committee Wednesday. James Bradley from the University of Montana Legislative News Service reports the hearing drew support from representatives for various state agencies and more than 20 supporters from various organizations each of them asking for more funding for the interests they represent. The largest portion of the money goes to capital and water projects for a combined $619 million.
Kurt Alme, Governor Greg Gianforte’s budget director, said at the bill’s hearing that he understood the breakneck pace may be a lot for lawmakers to take in.