Southwest Montana Veterans Home

After years of waiting, the Southwest Montana Veterans Home broke ground today in Butte.

Bullock Administration

Montana officials have kicked their work into high gear now that federal funding is finally available to help build the long-delayed southwest Montana Veterans Home and deadlines are looming. About two-thirds of the cost comes from the federal government and nearly remaining third from the state of Montana. Butte-Silver Bow and a private donation make up the rest.

Supporters Of Bonding Hope To Gain 4 More Votes

Apr 26, 2017
Jackie Yamanaka

Supporters of a bonding bill are working to turn 4 “no” votes to “yes” in order to advance Senate Bill 367 out of the House of Representatives.  Bonding is the last major issue remaining before the 2017 Montana Legislature.

Representatives gave Senate Bill 367 a preliminary 63-to-37 vote last evening. However, the bill will need at least 67 votes on its 3rd and final reading to advance it back to the Senate because of changes to the bill. Passage is expected to expedite the conclusion of the 2017 Legislative session. 


Lawmakers Sit Down With Governor To Talk Bonding

Apr 25, 2017
Jackie Yamanaka

Lawmakers wrapped up Day 85 of their scheduled 90-day Legislative session with no agreement reached on a bonding package.

That morning, 11 legislators sat down with Governor Steve Bullock, Budget Director Dan Villa and other staff in the Governor's Conference Room to talk about possibilities. Specifically, what would it take to reach the 67 votes needed in the House to pass a bonding bill.

Among the bills put on the table were those dealing with abortion and charter schools. House Minority Leader Jenny Eck, D-Helena, said if those bills were part of the deal, the Republican majority would lose Democratic votes, which could doom bonding.


Jackie Yamanaka

The Senate Minority Leader added an amendment to one of the infrastructure bills working its way through the process that seeks to keep alive construction of a Southwest Montana Veterans Home.


(USDA NRCS)

Now that both the full House and Senate have had their a chance to work on the state’s main budget bill, attention is returning to what legislative leaders have said is the priority this session—infrastructure.

New Republican Infrastructure Proposal Hits A Speed Bump

Mar 22, 2017
Jackie Yamanaka

House Democrats say they won’t support a new House Republican infrastructure proposal that would issue bonds to pay for rural water, wastewater, some road and school projects.

When it comes to infrastructure at the Montana Legislature even a simple matter over whether there were negotiations on the topic is up for dispute.


Jackie Yamanaka

Funding to fix ailing public works projects cleared the first legislative hurdle in the joint appropriations subcommittee on Long Range Planning.

The panel voted to approve House Bills 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11 and 14 with only minor changes.


Legislative Services

Two of the projects in the Democratic Bullock Administration’s major infrastructure proposal are aimed at helping Montana’s veterans.  One is the Southwest Montana Veterans Home, which is awaiting one final piece of funding. The other project is the proposed renovation of Romney Hall at Montana State University to include veterans services.

This week's guest on Capitol Connections  is Representative Ray Shaw, R-Sheridan. He rarely speaks, but when the discussion turns to veteran’s issues, his passion ignites. In this program, he talks about why, beginning with his service in the U.S. Air Force in Vietnam.


Time is Running Out to Build a SW MT Veterans Home

Jan 27, 2017
Jackie Yamanaka

Veterans lined up to deliver emotional testimony in support of a Southwest Montana Veterans home.  They’re seeking a so-called “bridge loan” to begin construction before time runs out.

“We’re at a point where if we don’t get it done this (Legislative) session all of the work to get this built is wasted,” said Navy Veteran and registered nurse Tom Goyette. He said if construction doesn’t start by 2019 the land donated by Don Harrington will revert back to the family.