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Multibillion stimulus bill aims to spur Montana into post-COVID prosperity

HELENA — Racing to beat a procedural deadline, Montana lawmakers have advanced a first-draft plan for spending billions of dollars in federal stimulus money through an initial vote in the state House less than three weeks after President Joe Biden signed the nation’s latest coronavirus relief package into law.

The plan, enshrined in House Bill 632, details spending for more than $2.3 billion of the roughly $3 billion expected to flow through state government under the new stimulus act, the American Rescue Plan Act, or ARPA. It directs that money, a massive influx of cash equivalent to about $2...