Tester ‘Disappointed’ Trump Administration Opposes St. Mary’s Reinvestment Act

Milk River Infrastructure Project will improve irrigation, save money for thousands of Montana producers

(U.S. Senate) – U.S. Senator Jon Tester expressed his disappointment today after the Trump Administration announced its opposition to his bipartisan St. Mary’s Reinvestment Act, which would boost critical investments in the Milk River Infrastructure Project that thousands of Montana farmers rely on for access to reliable irrigation water.

The St. Mary’s Reinvestment Act, introduced by Tester along with Senator Steve Daines and Congressman Greg Gianforte, would require the federal government to cover 75 percent of the costs for upgrades to the century-old water project. Currently, the federal government only funds 26 percent of the project, sticking local users with the rest of the tab.

“This bill is a responsible investment that’ll help farmers and ranchers across the Hi-Line, without sticking local irrigators with an out-of-control bill,” Tester said. “I’m disappointed the Trump Administration can’t see that, but we’ll keep working hard to secure these critical investments in Montana’s water infrastructure.”

The delegation’s bill will cover 75 percent of the cost of upgrading and operating the Sherburne Dam and Reservoir, Swift Current Creek Dike, Lower St. Mary Lake, St. Mary Canal Diversion Dam, and the St. Mary Canal.

The Milk River Water Project provides water to 18,000 Montanans and irrigates enough cropland to feed one million people.