Montana Needs a Highway Bill

By Beacon Staff

As contractors, we rely on predictability and certainty to grow our businesses, especially as construction season gets underway in Montana.

Without a long-term plan to rebuild our infrastructure, contractors like us won’t be able to put more Montanans to work upgrading our roads and bridges. Without a long-term extension, we can’t sign new contracts, hire more workers, or plan for the future.

If you live in Montana, you also know our state has a short construction season. There are only so many months of the year that the weather allows us to work on Montana’s roads and bridges.

Every day that a long-term extension isn’t passed is another lost day for Montana contractors and small business owners like me. And it’s another day that trained, hard-working Montanans wait for good work improving our infrastructure. The Senate recently passed a responsible and bipartisan two-year plan by an overwhelmingly margin.

The Senate’s bipartisan bill is supported by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO – two groups that normally can’t agree on much of anything. But they came together to support this smart, bipartisan investment in America’s transportation system.

That’s because the Senate bill is a jobs bill. In Montana, it will provide contractors and businesses the certainty needed to create and save some 14,000 jobs rebuilding our infrastructure. Better roads and bridges will help Montana’s economy remain competitive and efficient, allowing small businesses to expand and create more jobs.

Sens, Jon Tester and Max Baucus support the bipartisan Senate plan. They know what it means for Montana’s economy and its future.

We urge folks in Washington to come together to support a responsible, long-term plan. It’s the best way to provide Montana businesses the certainty they need to create jobs, grow our economy, and rebuild our country.

Deb Poteet, owner of Poteet Construction
Dave Zinke, president of Knife River Corporation’s Montana operations

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