Montana Code Annotated 2021



Part 6. Renewable Resource Grant and Loan Program

Grants, Loans, And Bonds For State, Local, Or Tribal Government Assistance

85-1-605. Grants, loans, and bonds for state, local, or tribal government assistance. (1) The department may recommend to the legislature that grants and loans be made from revenue deposited in the natural resources projects state special revenue account established in 15-38-302, that loans be made from renewable resource bond proceeds deposited in the renewable resource loan proceeds account established in 85-1-617(5), and that coal severance tax bonds be authorized pursuant to Title 17, chapter 5, part 7, to provide financial assistance to a department, agency, board, commission, or other division of state government, to a city, county, or other political subdivision or local government body of the state, including an authority as defined in 75-6-304, or to a tribal government. The legislature may approve by appropriation or other appropriate means those grants and loans that it finds consistent with the policies and purposes of the program.

(2) Nothing in this part creates or expands the state's or a local government's authority to incur debt, and the legislature may authorize loans only to state and local government entities otherwise structured to incur debt.

(3) Loans may not be authorized except to a state, local, or tribal government entity that agrees to secure the authorized loan with its bond.

(4) In addition to implementing those projects approved by the legislature, the department may request up to 10% of the grant funds available and up to $10 million for loans from the natural resources projects state special revenue account established in 15-38-302 and the renewable resource loan proceeds account in any biennium to be used for emergencies. These emergency grant projects or loan projects, or both, may not be made because of the gross negligence of the state, local, or tribal government applicant, must be approved by the department, and must be defined as those projects otherwise eligible for either grant funding or loan funding, or both, that, if delayed until legislative approval can be obtained, will cause substantial damages or legal liability to the project sponsor. In allocating the funds, the department shall inform the legislative fiscal analyst. The department shall provide a copy of the information to the legislature in accordance with 5-11-210.

(5) The grants and loans provided for by this section may be made for projects that enhance renewable resources in the state through conservation, development, management, or preservation; for assessing feasibility or planning; for implementing renewable resource projects; and for similar purposes approved by the legislature.

(6) Grant and loan agreements with tribal governments in Montana entered into under this part must contain, in addition to other appropriate terms and conditions, the following conditions:

(a) a requirement that in the event a dispute or claim arises under the agreement, state law will govern as to the interpretation and performance of the agreement and that any judicial proceeding concerning the terms of the agreement will be brought in the district court of the first judicial district of the state of Montana;

(b) an express waiver of the tribal government's immunity from suit on any issue specifically arising from the transaction of a loan or grant; and

(c) an express waiver of any right to exhaust tribal remedies signed by the tribal government.

History: En. Sec. 6, Ch. 505, L. 1981; amd. Sec. 3, Ch. 149, L. 1983; amd. Sec. 37, Ch. 298, L. 1983; amd. Sec. 11, Ch. 512, L. 1985; amd. Sec. 13, Ch. 478, L. 1993; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 50, L. 1997; amd. Sec. 4, Ch. 436, L. 1997; amd. Sec. 24, Ch. 498, L. 1999; amd. Sec. 16, Ch. 432, L. 2007; amd. Sec. 19, Ch. 120, L. 2013; amd. Sec. 115, Ch. 261, L. 2021.