House leaders outline priorities after transmittal - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

House leaders outline priorities after transmittal

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Just ahead of transmittal break, house representatives recapped the session thus far. Democrats were disappointed bills like minimum wage and nondiscrimination did not pass. But they made their focus moving forward clear: jobs and infrastructure.

 “We don't want to pit communities against each other and we don't want to pit projects against each other,” said Minority Leader Rep. Jenny Eck. “In order to get a good package passed we are going to have to make sure that it represents urban and rural, east and west, north and south Montana. And there are lots of important projects that will put people to work right away.”

Democrats confirmed the original infrastructure bill will split up projects into several bills. Some that will be funded with cash, some with bonds. But republicans say the budget comes first and the infrastructure projects that get passed will all depend on how much cash is available.

“I think it’s premature to start talking about how much money we are going to spend when we don't even know what the budget is for the next two years,” said Speaker of the House Rep. Austin Knudsen. “I typically have not supported bonding in the past, but we have had cash in the past. We don’t have that this session. That luxury is gone. So if we are going to fund some essential infrastructure, it would have to be for water projects, sewer projects, roads, bridges.”

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