17-6-309. Investment preferences. (1) Subject to the provisions of subsection (2), in deciding which of several investments of equal or comparable security and return are to be made when sufficient funds are not available to fund all possible investments, the board shall give preference to the business investments that:
(a) assist employee-owned enterprises in providing new jobs or in preserving existing jobs for Montana residents or in otherwise contributing to the long-term benefit of the Montana economy, including raising the per capita income of Montana jobholders;
(b) are for locally owned enterprises that are either expanding or establishing new operations;
(c) provide jobs that will be substantially filled by current Montana residents as opposed to providing jobs that will be filled by nonresidents coming into the state to fill the jobs;
(d) maintain and improve a clean and healthful environment, with emphasis on energy efficiency;
(e) encourage or benefit the processing, refining, marketing, and innovative use and promotion of Montana's agricultural products; or
(f) benefit small- and medium-sized businesses as defined in rules adopted by the board.
(2) The board may make a loan to enhance economic development and create jobs in the basic sector of the economy, as defined by the board by rule, if the loan will result in the creation of a business estimated to employ at least 15 people in Montana on a permanent, full-time basis or result in the expansion of a business estimated to employ at least an additional 15 people in Montana on a permanent, full-time basis or raise salaries, wages, and business incomes of existing employees and employers.
(3) The board may make a working capital loan to an owner of a coal-fired generating unit if the loan will prevent the elimination of jobs and provide stability in a community impacted by the operation of a coal-fired generating unit.