Tester, Baucus secure nearly $6 million for Montana’s cops, firefighters, jails

Tester also requires U.S. Attorney General to investigate tribal prosecutions

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Montana will receive nearly $6 million to improve the state’s law enforcement agencies, emergency responders, jails and colleges, thanks to a funding bill passed by the influential Senate Appropriations Committee, Senators Jon Tester and Max Baucus announced today.

Tester, a member of the influential Appropriations Committee, and Baucus secured $5.5 million for Montana in the Commerce, Justice & Science Appropriations Bill.  The measure is one of 12 appropriations bills that will fund the government for the next fiscal year.

“This is a multi-million dollar investment in the folks who protect and serve us day in and day out, which is why I’ll support these projects every step of the way,” Tester said.  “All of these projects are important to our public safety, our health, and our opportunities for the future.  I fought for them in the U.S. Senate because they’re right for Montana.”

“Whether it’s funding new police facilities or jails or treatment courts, these projects will make Montana—and all the people who live here—stronger,” said Senator Max Baucus, who worked closely with Tester in securing Montana’s funding.  “These smart projects will make our communities safer and more prosperous, and they’ll create good-paying jobs.”

The projects for Montana, which Tester and his colleagues on the Appropriations Committee passed this week, include:

  • More than $1 million to help build a new public safety training center and to improve cyber-crime fighting in Missoula.
  • $1 million to help build a regional fire training structure in Helena.
  • $400,000 for the Sanders County Family Coalition to establish a new Women’s Resource Center in Thompson Falls.
  • More than $1 million to upgrade detention facilities on the Fort Belknap and Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservations.

Tester also included language in the bill requiring the U.S. Attorney General to investigate why the number of criminal prosecutions have recently dropped on Indian Reservations nationwide.  The report is due to Congress 180 days after the appropriations bill is signed into law.

The Senate Commerce, Justice & Science Appropriations Bill now goes to the full Senate for approval.  It must also be agreed upon by the U.S. House of Representatives and signed into law by the President.

Below is a list of Montana projects secured by Tester and Baucus in the Senate Commerce, Justice & Science Appropriations Bill:

Montana projects secured by Tester and Baucus
Senate Commerce, Justice & Science Appropriations Bill

MONTANA TOTAL:  $5.5 million

Billings: $225,000 for projects at Billings’ two main colleges:

  • Montana State University-Billings: $100,000 to provide education opportunities through MSU-B for inmates at the Montana Women’s Prison, preparing them for the workforce.
  • Rocky Mountain College: $125,000 to help purchase equipment for the college’s new 10,000 square-foot science annex.

Bozeman: $100,000 to expand the Gallatin County Treatment Court to be able to add more cases, better treatment, and better mental health care.

Butte: $175,000 to fund the Juvenile Probation Office, an initiative to provide opportunities and mentorship for young Montanans re-entering the community after serving detention or jail time.

Chippewa Cree Tribe: $100,000 to help update and renovate the tribe’s juvenile detention facility on the Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation.

Columbus: $200,000 to create and equip a Crisis Response Team staffed with full-time Stillwater County Sheriff’s deputies and full-time police officers.

Eureka: $300,000 to help build a new, multi-agency Eureka Justice Center.

Fort Belknap Tribe: $1.3 million to fund the tribe’s detention facility and to train employees to operate the tribe’s court system.

Helena: $1 million to help build a fire training structure for the Rocky Mountain Emergency Services Training Center—a facility that will benefit firefighters throughout the region.

Kalispell: $250,000 to help modernize the City of Kalispell’s public safety building.

Missoula: $1.15 million for improved cyber-crime fighting and emergency response:

  • $750,000 to house cyber-crime investigations in the Missoula Police Department headquarters.
  • $400,000 to help build a new Public Safety and Operations Training Center to train local law enforcement officers, firefighters and health care providers.

Thompson Falls: $400,000 to help establish a new Women’s Resource Center, which will provide assistance and housing to victims of domestic and sexual violence, and child abuse.  The Sanders County Coalition for Families will create the new center.

Statewide: $300,000 for the Montana Offender Notification and Tracking System’s (MONTS) Juvenile Justice System.  MONTS will use the funding to provide monitoring systems to keep track of young offenders throughout the state.