Senate approves funding for Montana’s cops, firefighters, jails

Tester, Baucus secure funding, require U.S. Attorney General to investigate tribal prosecutions

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Montana will receive significant investments in the state’s law enforcement agencies, emergency responders, jails and colleges, thanks to a bill approved today by the Senate, Senators Jon Tester and Max Baucus announced today.

Tester, a member of the influential Appropriations Committee, and Baucus secured the funds for Montana in the Commerce, Justice & Science Appropriations Act.

The Commerce, Justice & Science Appropriations Act passed the Senate with a vote of 71-28.

“This is a smart investment in the folks who protect our families and our communities every single day,” Tester said.  “Too many local governments are facing tough budget decisions.  But I’ll always fight to make sure that law enforcement and our firefighters don’t get the budget axe.  I fought for these projects in the U.S. Senate because they will help keeping Montana safe.”

“These are projects that will make our communities safer and more prosperous, while creating good-paying jobs,” said Senator Max Baucus, who worked closely with Tester in securing Montana’s funding.  “Whether it’s funding new police facilities or jails or treatment courts, these projects will ensure that Montana stays a safe place to do business and raise a family.”

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 Act now goes to a conference committee to work out differences between the House’s bill and the Senate’s bill. 

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

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


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

Bozeman: The Gallatin County Treatment Court will receive funding to process drug cases faster, provide better treatment and mental health care.  The drug court helps alleviate overcrowding at the County Jail ($100,000).

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

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

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

Eureka will receive funding to help build a new, multi-agency Eureka Justice Center ($300,000).

Fort Belknap Tribe will receive funding for the tribe’s detention facility and to train employees to operate the tribe’s court system ($1.3 million).

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

Kalispell will receive funding to help modernize the City of Kalispell’s public safety building ($250,000).


  • The Missoula Police Department will receive funding to house cyber-crime investigations in their headquarters ($750,000).
  • Missoula County will receive funding for a new Public Safety and Operations Training Center to train local law enforcement officers, firefighters and health care providers ($400,000).

Thompson Falls will receive funding 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 ($400,000).

The State of Montana will also receive funding 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 ($300,000).