Tester Priorities for Montana Infrastructure Included in Major Senate Transportation Package
Senator’s provisions will benefit state, local, and Tribal projects
As part of his ongoing efforts to #ConnectMT, U.S. Senator Jon Tester successfully pushed the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee to include a number of his key priorities that give Montana the funding and flexibility to make critical infrastructure improvements.
The America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act authorizes a total of $287 billion for surface transportation infrastructure that will be utilized by state, local, and Tribal governments to make investments into vital infrastructure projects, streamline regulatory burdens, and provide flexibility for community-based projects.
“In a big state like Montana, folks often drive for hours at a time to get where they need to go,” Tester said. “Our roads and highways need to be in good shape so our truck drivers, producers, and families can get across the state quickly and safely without having to worry about road conditions or constant construction.”
The EPW Committee included multiple Tester-backed provisions in the America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act, including provisions to ensure 90 percent of all infrastructure funding will go to states to address their own priorities, significant funding increases for the Tribal Transportation Program, $250 million for Nationally Significant Federal Lands and Tribal Projects, a 2 percent Tribal set-aside for PROTECT grants that can be used to reinforce and upgrade transportation infrastructure, and a new Office of Tribal Government Affairs within the Department of Transportation to ensure that Tribal governments are included in decision making.
Tester proposed these and other infrastructure priorities to the EPW Committee earlier this year, urging them to keep large, rural states like Montana in mind when negotiating how to address America’s infrastructure needs. The America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act passed through the Committee yesterday.
Tester has led the charge to make substantial investments into Montana’s outdated infrastructure. He was instrumental in negotiating a bipartisan budget deal earlier this year, providing critical funding for infrastructure programs across the country. In the same funding agreement, he secured millions of dollars for infrastructure projects in Indian Country. This year alone, he has secured more than $20 million in funding for airport infrastructure projects across Montana.