Governor Gianforte Ends State of Emergency in Montana
BILLINGS, Mont. – Governor Greg Gianforte today ended the state of emergency in Montana he declared in January 2021 to address the COVID-19 pandemic in the state.
“Months ago, the light at the end of the tunnel was distant and dim. As we’ve worked together to overcome this pandemic, the light has grown bigger and brighter. Today, we are out of the tunnel, and we are surrounded in light. Today, the conditions we face are nothing like what we faced 15 months ago, 12 months ago, or six months ago,” Gianforte said. “Today, the conditions we face no longer warrant a state of emergency.”
Citing Montanans’ resiliency amid the pandemic, Gianforte concluded his remarks, saying, “Montanans can be proud of the work they’ve done to overcome this pandemic and take care of themselves and each other. Working together, we have come through this stronger on the other side.”
In making the announcement, the governor cited the dramatic decline in new cases and hospitalizations in the last six months as well as Montana’s progress in administering vaccines. To date, Montanans have administered over 860,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, with more than 425,000 Montanans fully immunized.
Encouraging Montanans to choose to get the vaccine, the governor added, “The vaccines are safe, effective, free, and easy to get. They continue to be our best path forward.”
The governor also cited progress in getting Montana’s economy going again, getting Montana open for business, and getting Montanans back to work.
Montana was the first state in the nation to announce it was fully opting out of the federal unemployment benefit programs enacted since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Twenty-four other states have followed Montana’s lead.
To help Montanans reenter the workforce, the governor also launched a return-to-work bonus program. Return-to-work bonuses will be paid to unemployed individuals who rejoin the workforce and accept and maintain steady employment for at least one month.
In May, Montana’s unemployment rate continued to decline, falling to 3.6 percent from 4.0 percent in January.
To view the governor’s executive order to end the state of emergency in Montana, click here.