Governor Gianforte Makes Montana Debt-Free in ’23, Saves Taxpayers $40 Million

Governor Greg Gianforte HELENA, Mont. – On the steps of the State Capitol, Governor Greg Gianforte today signed a bill into law to pay off the state’s general obligation debt, making Montana debt-free in ’23. The governor also made a historic investment to repair Montana’s roads and bridges.

Both measures are elements of Governor Gianforte’s Budget for Montana Families.

“After providing Montanans with over $1 billion in tax relief, we’re going to invest our surplus responsibly like any Montana family would, making needed repairs and paying off our debt,” Gov. Gianforte said. “Today, we’re making Montana debt-free in ‘23, saving Montanans $40 million over the next two years. We’re also investing $100 million from our surplus to repair our roads and bridges, leveraging federal dollars for critical infrastructure projects.”

In his Budget for Montana Families, Gov. Gianforte introduced a proposal to use the state’s surplus to pay off all general obligation debt. Rep. Llew Jones, R-Conrad, carried the proposal through the legislature.

“It’s a historic moment in the life of an individual when they pay off their house loan, when they pay off a business loan. I'm pleased to be a part of the effort to be able to say that Montana is now debt-free of general obligation bonds in 2023,” Rep. Jones said.

Rep. Jones’ bill, HB 251, makes Montana debt-free in 2023, saving Montana taxpayers $40 million over the next two years on principal and interest payments.

The governor today also made a historic investment to repair the state’s roads and bridges, signing into law the SAFER Montana Roads and Bridges Fund, which is part of the governor’s budget.

“Too often, the state leaves federal dollars on the table. Our historic investment to repair our infrastructure will allow us to better leverage federal funds,” Gov. Gianforte said.

Rep. Courtenay Sprunger, R-Kalispell, carried HB 267 to establish the SAFER Montana Roads and Bridges Fund.

Leveraging up to nine federal dollars for every one state dollar, the SAFER Fund will invest $100 million to repair Montana’s roads and bridges.

“Montanans should be able to get where they need to go safely and efficiently,” Rep. Sprunger said. “Thank you to the governor for his visionary leadership on this transformational investment for our state.”

The legislature is currently considering other proposals in the governor’s Budget for Montana Families which responsibly invest the surplus. These proposals include repairing long-neglected state facilities, tripling the fire suppression fund and doubling the rainy-day fund, investing in local disaster resiliency, and expanding water and sewer infrastructure to increase the supply of housing in Montana.