Tester Announces Nearly $49 Million to Secure Montana’s Transportation Infrastructure During Pandemic

Funds will provide relief to workers and state agencies hit hard by pandemic

U.S. Senator Jon Tester today announced Montana is expected to receive $48.9 million to provide relief and ensure the integrity of the state’s transportation infrastructure in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak.

“For the safety of folks in rural America and the health of the Main Street businesses that power our frontier economies, we need to make sure Montana’s transportation infrastructure is secure during this outbreak,” said Tester. “That’s why I fought hard for these critical funds, which will provide relief to workers and state agencies who have been hit hard by this crisis and help make sure that Montanans in our rural communities are not left behind.”

The nearly $49 million in funding, which Tester fought to secure for rural America during negotiations last week, are part of $25 billion in federal transit grants appropriated by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Montana’s approximately $48.9 million will be used to cover the operating expenses of transit agencies related to the response to coronavirus, including reimbursement for operating costs to maintain service, lost revenue, the purchase of personal protective equipment, and paying the administrative leave of operations personnel due to reductions in service.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s original coronavirus legislation only included $20 billion for these transportation grants, but Tester and his colleagues secured an additional $5 billion for transportation infrastructure across the country in the final package.

Tester has been working tirelessly to ensure that Montana is prepared to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Last week, after 72 hours negotiating substantial, bipartisan improvements to COVID-19 stimulus legislation that had previously fallen far short, Tester voted to deliver critical, urgent relief to Montana workers, families, small businesses, hospitals and others hardest hit by the outbreak.

Visit tester.senate.gov/coronavirusresources for a list of resources for Montanans during the COVID-19 outbreak