3 Things To Watch On Election Day
"But regardless of what happens on election day, you can rest assured that we won’t stop working to solve Montana’s problems with more freedom, not more government in 2023."
Can you believe it, election day is just 5 days away! Tuesday will undoubtedly be an interesting one, especially here in Montana. Voters have some big choices to make. Here are the 3 things I’ll be watching for on election day:
1. Will voters approve C-48 – an Amendment to protect digital data?
C-48 is a constitutional amendment referred to voters by the 2021 Montana Legislature. C-48 will ask voters this fall to amend the state’s Constitution to explicitly protect electronic data and communications from unreasonable searches and seizures by law enforcement.
C-48 was a concept proposed by Frontier Institute in our 2020 Montana Recovery Agenda as a way to secure Montanans’ right to privacy. While Montana’s constitution already protects citizens from warrantless searches and seizures of their “person, papers, homes and effects,” we explained how enshrining privacy protections for digital communications in Montana’s Constitution would make it clear that regardless of technological change, Montanans’ privacy is protected from unwarranted government intrusion.
2. Will Montana voters send a supermajority to Helena?
Republicans are just two legislators shy of gaining a supermajority in Helena. Republicans have already made it clear that they intend to cut taxes during the next legislative session, but if they get a supermajority Republicans will have the votes to put referendums before Montana voters that could change the Montana Constitution, without the need for Democratic support.
3. Will Montana voters reject local property tax increases?
In cities like Bozeman and Missoula, voters are being asked whether to accept or reject proposed mill levies, which would raise property taxes. If voters decide to reject increased property taxes, it would send a clear message to local governments that they will no longer put up with higher taxes to fund reckless spending by local governments.
But regardless of what happens on election day, you can rest assured that we won’t stop working to solve Montana’s problems with more freedom, not more government in 2023.
Potential Energy Shortages On The Horizon
Over the last week, there have been a number of alarming reports about how close the United State’s is to an energy emergency. U.S. diesel fuel inventories are at their lowest level since 2008 and heating oil shortages have forced utility providers in the northeastern U.S. to warn President Biden’s administration that they won’t have enough to generate power in the event of a severe cold snap.
Our Take: It is now more important than ever that we secure abundant energy. Montana’s abundant resources have uniquely positioned us to become an energy producing leader, but matter which form of energy you look at Montana is severely underutilizing its capabilities. While Montana can’t change the policies the federal government has taken, there are things leaders can do to ensure Montanans have abundant energy.
The Struggle For More Housing
Our Take: Single family homes continue to be the most expensive type of home in Montana. Despite this reality, many cities have implemented California zoning ordinances that limit large swaths of residential areas to these exceedingly expensive home types, prohibiting less expensive starter homes like duplexes. By implementing ideas laid out by the Housing Task Forces recent report, such as limiting large minimum lot areas and ending California zoning in larger cities, we can finally begin to address the housing shortage.
The Latest Red Tape Relief Proposals
Shortly after Governor Gianforte signed Executive Order 1-2021, creating the Red Tape Relief Initiative, State agencies got to work identifying “excessive, outdated, and unnecessary regulations” standing in the way of innovation and entrepreneurship. Flash forward to today, agencies have identified unnecessary regulations and have announced proposed legislation in advance of the 2023 Legislative Session. The latest to propose reforms this week came from the Montana Department of Labor & Industry, which announced five new proposed pieces of legislation that would cut red tape.
Our Take: One of the new proposals that stood out was reforming Section 37 because it will modernize and streamline licensing laws which will help Montana by reducing unnecessary and often redundant barriers for those wanting to work in Montana. By reforming Section 37, interest groups cannot erect barriers of entry to protect their interests over that of the consumers. There is no logical reason that someone with a license from another state with equivalent standards cannot work in Montana. By reforming Section 37, Montana’s economic dynamism can only increase as Montana businesses have greater access to the talent and expertise of new Montanans.