Flanked by leadership of the recently concluded Montana Legislature, Governor Greg Gianforte held a press conference from the State Capitol on Friday to praise the lawmakers for passing the budget and enacting many of the laws he had supported, especially during an unprecedented pandemic.

“We began our work under some of the most unique, challenging circumstances in our state's history,” said Gianforte. “We moved forward working together and got the people's business done. Helping Montana recover from the pandemic has been my top priority, and I have appreciated working with the legislature to guide our state's recovery.”

Gianforte recalled the response since he took office in January.

“We changed our state's response,” he said. “We successfully focused on protecting the most vulnerable, putting them at the front of the line for vaccines, and it worked. Since January hospitalizations and new cases have plummeted. We continue to make progress in getting vaccines to all who want them.”

Gianforte focused on healthcare legislation passed during the 67th legislative session.

“We created new laws to increase Montanans access to affordable, high quality health care,” he said. “We brought greater competition to the marketplace and greater choice for consumers by authorizing direct patient care agreements in our state for the first time. Last week, I saw the success of a direct patient care clinic in Billings, and I'm encouraged at the prospect as they expand across our great state.”

Gianforte also praised the conservative focus on the state’s budget.

“We did all of this while holding the line on new spending, limiting its growth to less than 1% per year over the next biennium,” he said. “Our Republican budget reduces spending by $145 million compared with the previous administration's budget proposal. Our fiscally responsible budget has a strong ending fund balance, and we preserved our state's rainy day fund.”

Joining Gianforte at the press conference were Senate President Mark Blasdel from Kalispell and House Speaker Wylie Galt from Martinsdale.

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