By Freddy Monares/UM Legislative News Service
HELENA – Democratic House Minority Leader Jon Sesso says the state’s current financial situation should not get in the way of an infrastructure bill.
“It’s our fiscal strength that is allowing us to make these investments today,” Sesso said Tuesday, Day 2 of the 65th Montana Legislature.
Funding infrastructure — like fixing roads and water systems — is a key issue for the 2017 Legislature. While Democrats plan to borrow to finance their bills, Republicans say money should come from local, federal or private funds.
Republican House Majority Leader Ron Ehli said Monday his party’s plan is to ensure that Montana lives within its means.
“We’ve got some serious situations that we want to look at within the budget, but our focus initially within this caucus as we go into this session is going to be that budget,” Ehli said.
Montana’s struggling economy has tightened legislators’ spending abilities, he added.
Freddy Monares 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.