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2015 State Legislature Wrap Up

The 64th Montana Legislature is adjourned.  Here is how a few of the issues the Chamber was involved with turned out:

Water Compact - Passing the Compact is crucial to protecting existing water users and ensuring that we have enough legally available water to sustain economic growth in Missoula.  The Chamber strongly supported SB 262, a bill to pass the Compact at the state level.  Thanks to all the Chamber members who sent in letters of support!

Status - SB 262 passed.  Next, the Compact must be approved by Congress.

Medicaid Expansion - Expanding the Montana Medicaid program helps to ensure a healthy workforce, slows health insurance costs for employers, and will create jobs.  The Missoula Chamber supported SB 405, a compromise Medicaid expansion plan.

Status - SB 405 passed.  Next, federal approval is required.

Tax Increment Financing - TIF has been put to good use in Missoula as a local economic development tool.  The Missoula Chamber opposed SB 404, a bill that would have significantly impeded the use of TIF.  It was the only attack on TIF this session.

Status - SB 404 died in committee.

Infrastructure -  Roads, water, sewer, broadband, schools, public buildings, and other infrastructure are a critical ingredient to growing our economy. The Chamber supported numerous infrastructure bills, including SB 416.

Status - Some of the smaller infrastructure bills passed.  Unfortunately the largest infrastructure bill, SB 416, fell one vote short.