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Montana 2021 Legislature

Federal COVID Relief Dollars To Fund Schools, Broadband, Housing Assistance

Montana’s spending plan for roughly $2 billion in federal stimulus money is heading to the governor’s desk.

The policy provides a framework for how the state will spend the bulk of its American Rescue Plan Act funds. The money will go to schools, housing assistance and broadband infrastructure projects.

Lawmakers workshopped the policy extensively, comparing the process to crafting a brand-new state budget under a shortened timeline. Kalispell Republican Rep. Frank Garner said the state is nearly ready to begin pushing aid to cities and counties.

“We’re going to be, as I said before, building bridges to our future. The kinds of things that will last for decades and provide significant community benefit,” Garner says.

Due to currently limited guidance from the federal government, lawmakers may adjust the state stimulus spending plan as additional rules are released in coming months.

Kevin Trevellyan is Yellowstone Public Radio's Report for America statehouse reporter.