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Mar 3, 2021

As Rural Montana Counties Struggle Amid Pandemic, Tester Pushes Bipartisan Bill to Reauthorize Critical Source of Funding

Senator: “I’ll keep pushing to ensure this critical program is extended well into the future so that Montana’s rural counties have the tools they need to thrive”

U.S. Senator Jon Tester is pushing a bipartisan bill to reauthorize a critical program that provides resources for essential services like law enforcement, emergency response, roads, and education in rural counties across Montana.

Tester's bill would extend the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (SRS) - which compensates forested counties for lost revenue due to declining timber production on federal lands, and provides resources to more than two dozen Montana counties to help fund schools, roads, jails, and other essential services - for two years.

"Rural counties in Montana rely on these resources to fund everything from law enforcement to roads and schools, and as counties continue responding to the COVID-19 pandemic that funding is more important than ever," Tester said. "I'll keep pushing to ensure this critical program is extended well into the future so that Montana's rural counties have the tools they need to thrive."

Tester's bill would also make several positive changes to SRS, including allowing funds to be used to expand broadband connectivity at schools.

Tester is a longtime champion of SRS, and secured two years of SRS funding in 2019 after Congress let the program lapse in 2016, a move Tester railed against and successfully fought to reverse.


Office Contact Information

Senator Tester's Montana staff serves the state from offices in Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell, and Missoula. Please bring your concerns with federal agencies, academy nominations, and other situations to one of these Montana offices.


Judge Jameson Federal Building
2900 4th Ave N, Suite 201
Billings, MT 59101
Phone: (406) 252-0550
Fax: (406) 252-7768


Avant Courier Building
1 E Main Street, Suite 202
Bozeman, MT 59715
Phone: (406) 586-4450
Fax: (406) 586-7647


Silver Bow Center
125 W Granite, Suite 200
Butte, MT 59701
Phone: (406) 723-3277
Fax: (406) 782-4717

Great Falls

119 1st Avenue N, Suite 102
Great Falls, MT 59401
Phone: (406) 452-9585
Fax: (406) 452-9586


208 North Montana Avenue
Suite 104
Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 449-5401
Fax: (406) 449-5462


8 Third Street E
Kalispell, MT 59901
Phone: (406) 257-3360
Fax: (406) 257-3974


130 W Front St.
Missoula, MT 59802
Phone: (406) 728-3003
Fax: (406) 728-2193

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