03.16.21

Daines Pushes to Protect Montana Cities

U.S. SENATE —U.S. Senator Steve Daines today defended Montana cities against proposed changes by President Biden’s administration that would redefine “metropolitan areas” and lead to less federal funding for cities like Bozeman, Missoula and Great Falls.

“The implications of this shift would be significant, as up to half of the federal funding these cities normally receive would be redirected. I urge you to not adopt this change and carefully consider what effect this will have on communities that are metropolitan centers by all reasonable measure. Great Falls is a major agricultural hub, as well as being home to the main economic development and medical facilities in North Central Montana. In Western Montana, Missoula is a major financial and academic community that has grown substantially in recent years. Bozeman is one of the fastest growing micropolitan areas in the country,” the letter states.

Read the full letter HERE.

Background:

The Office of Management and Budget currently defines a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) as a geographic area with a population of at least 50,000 people. They have now proposed to change the definition to be an area with 100,000 people which would cause Missoula and Great Falls to be downgraded from “metropolitan” to “micropolitan.” This would mean these towns stand to lose critical federal funding.