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Bullock Proposes $45 Million in Oil Patch Grants

Governor Steve Bullock
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BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Gov. Steve Bullock is proposing a $45 million grant program to ease strains on basic services faced by towns in eastern Montana’s fast-growing Bakken oil patch.

The proposal will need approval from the Legislature. Bullock last year vetoed a measure that would have created a fund for infrastructure improvements in the Bakken region.

The Democratic governor said in a Thursday statement that the oil boom has brought jobs and opportunity, but also challenges for local communities.

Tens of thousands of workers have been drawn to the region in the past several years.

Most drilling is occurring in neighboring North Dakota. Yet the pressures from a growing population spill across the border, with added demands on school systems, wastewater treatment plants, law enforcement and other basic services.

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