Tester Bill Will Correct Mistake Blocking Silver Bow & Deer Lodge Counties From Receiving Federal Funding in American Rescue Plan

Treasury Department’s recent announcement excluded Butte-Silver Bow & Anaconda-Deer Lodge Counties;

Senator’s Local Assistance Fairness Act will fix this issue

U.S. Senator Jon Tester today introduced a bill to ensure Butte-Silver Bow and Anaconda-Deer Lodge counties are eligible for the American Rescue Plan’s Local Assistance and Tribal Consistency Fund. The two counties had been excluded from this funding by a recent Treasury Department announcement that these funds could not go to consolidated county-municipal governments.

“Butte-Silver Bow and Anaconda-Deer Lodge counties were left out of this critical funding source through no fault of their own—that’s wrong, so I’m fighting to ensure they get the resources they need,” said Tester. “Montanans can always expect me to hold Washington, D.C. accountable regardless of who is in charge.”

The September Treasury Department allocations for the ARPA Local Assistance and Tribal Consistency Fund excluded two Montana counties, Anaconda-Deer Lodge and Butte-Silver Bow. These funds were intended for counties that are eligible for Payment in lieu of Taxes (PILT), but counties that are eligible for PILT and have consolidated county-municipal governments were excluded. Tester’s Local Assistance Fairness Act, which he introduced alongside Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, will rectify this for PILT eligible counties that were excluded from this ARPA funding.

In 2020, Tester held hundreds of meetings with Montana’s workers, small business owners, frontline health care workers, educators, Tribes, and local officials to solicit input about what Montanans need to make it through the pandemic. Tester used that input to help craft the American Rescue Plan, which provided $20 billion in vaccine funding, $382 million for Montana K-12 schools, legislation to restore rail service, and billions for small businesses, rural hospitals and the Department of Veterans Affairs.