Senate Bill (SB) 536
Signed into law on May 19, 2023, SB 536 provides much-needed funding to local governments for the maintenance of county, city, and town roads. SB 536 transfers $100 million to the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT). Eligible uses include funding or providing the state matching source for the reconstruction and repair of off-system bridges, secondary highway system routes, urban highway system routes, or providing a state matching source for road and bridge repair or reconstruction discretionary grants awarded to local governments. An amount of $20 million must be distributed to incorporated cities and towns with a population of less than 10,000 by September 1, 2023.
House Bill (HB) 267
Also known as the “SAFER Act,” HB 267 was one of Governor Gianforte’s top priorities during the 2023 Montana State Legislature. This historic investment in the state’s roads and bridges created a state funding account of $100 million provided to MDT to match federal funding requirements for road and bridge projects. The federal government typically requires a 13% funding match for construction projects, so the SAFER Act will invest in Montana’s statewide communities by increasing the road and bridge projects MDT can fund each fiscal year. The SAFER Act also provides matching funds to support MDT’s annual efforts to pursue funds through federal redistribution. Under HB 267, up to $15 million will be available each year to support MDT’s state match for federal grants and redistribution requests. Any funds not used in the year they are available will be rolled over to the next year.
House Bill (HB) 76
In support of Governor Gianforte’s Red Tape Reduction initiative and the continued commitment to reducing government “red tape” for external customers, HB 76 was passed by the 2023 State Legislature to repeal the administrative burden related to the Bridge and Road Safety Accountability Act (BaRSAA). Specifically, HB 76 eliminates project reporting, resolutions and local match requirements, and local governments are no longer required to submit request to MDT for their allocation of gas tax revenue. Local governments now receive a monthly share of gas tax revenue, collected in the previous month, based on sales of gas in their jurisdiction. A one-time distribution of remaining BARSAA funds to local governments will occur on September 1, 2023.