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Mar 6, 2013 12:46 AM by Simone DeAlba - MTN News

Bill would establish MT military economic impact task force

GREAT FALLS - Montana could have a new task force focused solely on protecting the military and its members.

House Bill 579, which is being carried by Rep. Roger Hagan (R-Great Falls), would establish a military economic impact task force that would help with retention and development of military installations.

Sen. Ed Buttrey (R-Great Falls) backs the bill, noting that military impacts the state's economy by more than $800 million a year.

"The military in Montana is more than just Great Falls and Helena, it is from border to border and it affects every one of us. We need to protect these folks, we need to protect this economic impact to the state and we need to stand up and say 'Hey, don't take our missions, give us more, look at what great assets we've got here in Montana'," Buttrey said.

The cost of the bill is estimated at about $160,000 per year. Buttrey says that feedback for the bill has been positive, and that the only opposition is in regard to funding.

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