Governor Gianforte: Let’s Deliver on Montanans’ Priorities

Governor's Office
  • February 16 2023

HELENA, Mont. – Following his visit to Lewistown yesterday, Governor Greg Gianforte today urged legislators to deliver on Montanans’ priorities by sending a historic tax package and pro-housing reforms to his desk.

“Folks in Lewistown told me what I hear over and over throughout the state – tax relief is a priority. That’s why we’re moving forward with the largest tax cut in state history,” Gov. Gianforte said at a press conference at the State Capitol. “I’m encouraged by the progress the legislature is making to provide Montanans with tax relief, and we need to get these bills across the finish line.”

Press Conference

Gov. Gianforte addresses Montanans at a press conference at the State Capitol

The governor’s tax relief package provides the largest tax cut in state history through permanent, long-term relief and immediate rebates.

“Working with the legislature, I look forward to providing Montanans the tax relief they need and deserve,” the governor continued.

To increase Montanans’ access to affordable, attainable housing, the governor also emphasized his administration’s work to cut red tape to streamline permitting for homebuilding.

“The demand for more housing has grown for more than a decade, and homebuilding hasn’t kept up,” Gov. Gianforte said. “To sustain our historic economic success, we must increase the supply of affordable, attainable housing.”

In his Budget for Montana Families, the governor proposed the Home Ownership Means Economic Security (HOMES) Program, which invests $200 million to ultimately expand housing capacity throughout the state. He urged the legislature to send this and other pro-housing reforms to his desk.

The governor also called for action on two bills which have been voted down by the legislature, with significant impact on Montanans.

Sponsored by Sen. Theresa Manzella, R-Hamilton, SB 47 brings Montana into compliance with federal entry-level driver training standards.

As the only state out of compliance with federal rules, Montana is at risk of having its commercial driver’s license (CDL) program decertified, effectively shutting down the trucking industry in Montana.

“If we don’t pass SB 47, the federal government may decertify our CDL program and withhold federal roads funding from Montana,” Gov. Gianforte said. “Without it, Montana truckers won’t be able to operate outside our state lines, and the state could lose more than $35 million per year in federal funding for roads and bridges.”

The governor continued, “I urge Montanans to call their legislators and ask them to get moving on SB 47, because there’s too much on the line.”

In addition to calling for action on SB 47, the governor urged legislators to send to his desk HB 269, sponsored by Rep. Larry Brewster, R-Billings, which would establish a local disaster mitigation fund.

Leveraging state dollars for up to a 90-to-10 federal match, the local disaster mitigation fund would help the state prevent emergencies. The legislature tabled the bill this week.

“If you want to take proactive steps to prevent local disasters, call your legislators and tell them to get moving on this commonsense approach,” the governor said.

The governor’s press conference may be viewed here.