How to reduce Montana’s regulatory burden permanently
“No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!” – President Ronald Reagan
One of the least talked about, but in my opinion most transformational, reforms during the Trump Administration has been efforts to reduce regulations and cut red tape at the federal level.
To give you an idea of the impact, under President Bush regulatory restrictions increased by 105,000. Under President Obama they increased by 120,000. Under President Trump, regulatory restrictions have actually decreased.
The White House Council of Economic Advisors estimate this commitment to reducing the growth of Federal regulation will raise real incomes by upwards of $3,100 per household per year!
President Trump’s “one-in-two-out” rule, requiring at least two regulations be removed for every new regulation introduced, finally forced regulators to make tough decisions about which regulations are necessary and which hold back economic growth. And Trump’s cap on “regulatory costs” has focused efforts on removing the restrictive regulations which impact our economy the most.
The success of the Trump Administration’s approach can serve as a model for states like Montana.
In our Montana Recovery Agenda, we recommend implementing similar reforms to take on Montana’s regulatory burden systematically, collaboratively and best of all – permanently:
- Establish a target reduction of regulatory restrictions and require at least two restrictions be removed for every new proposed until the target is met.
- The Governor should appoint an independent officer and establish a stakeholder council to oversee an accountable process of state agencies reviewing and reducing restrictions.
- Once the target is met, put regulations on a budget. (For every new restriction proposed, one is removed).
By reducing Montana’s burden of regulations in this way, lawmakers have the opportunity to follow President Trump’s lead and deliver transformational reform for our economy.
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1. As newly approved COVID vaccines are deployed nationwide, the federal government has moved to create a national vaccine database to coordinate efforts and track immunizations, consolidating a “data clearinghouse” that includes info like “names and birth dates.”
Our Take: Our research is clear: Montanans want protections from things like mass surveillance and warrantless searches of their private data. As governments across the globe use the COVID-19 pandemic to expand data collection, now is the time to expand data privacy protections. When faced with a question of expediency or privacy, the law should require government to err on the side of privacy.
2. Montana Congressman-Elect Matt Rosendale published an op-ed this weekend calling for the legislature to, among other things, permanently authorize Direct Primary Care (DPC).
Our Take: If you talk to Matt, he’ll tell you that authorizing DPC is one of the life accomplishments he is most proud of. With good reason – his actions have quite literally led new Montana businesses being created and given thousands of patients access to affordable, quality healthcare. As Rosendale leaves the State Auditor’s office, state lawmakers should continue his healthcare legacy and permanently authorize Direct Care agreements.
3. Did you know it can take a decade for new subdivisions to get approved in Missoula County?
Our Take: Can there be a more classic example of the failure of central planning than housing supply? While we didn’t include local land use policy in our Montana Recovery Agenda this year, this type of egregious government failure needs to be addressed. Expect the Frontier Institute to provide our two cents on this issue in the future.
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