How To Track Red Tape Relief Efforts During The 2023 Legislative Session
"Our latest count identifies more than 80 bill drafts that have already been reserved by state agencies which advance the Red Tape Relief Initiative’s mandate."
For decades Montana has been plagued by an enormous thicket of red tape, with the state’s regulatory code growing to over 4.7 million words and nearly 60,000 regulatory restrictions as of 2020. Thanks to Gov. Greg Gianforte’s Red Tape Relief Initiative, this regulatory thicket is finally starting to be trimmed back. Now with the legislative session on the horizon, Montanans can expect 2023 to bring massive red tape relief.
Our latest count identifies more than 80 bill drafts that have already been reserved by state agencies which advance the Red Tape Relief Initiative’s mandate. That’s a lot of red tape relief to keep track of!
With this in mind, we created the 2023 Red Tape Relief Legislation Tracker to better help you keep up with all of the work being done to get rid of unnecessary red tape in Montana.
These proposals can be broken down into three different categories:
While each one of these proposals deserve a newsletter unto itself, I’ll share with you just one of my favorite red tape relief proposals.
There is a law that has been on the books since 2007 which required producers selling huckleberry products to register the location of their huckleberry patch with the government — a laughable requirement for Montanans who work hard to find and keep secret their beloved huckleberry patches. The law has never been enforced and not a single picker has ever registered the location of their patch with the government.
This is just one of the many examples of unnecessary and burdensome regulations we have in Montana. Be sure to stay tuned as we will update this tracker as red tape relief proposals advance.
Fresh Eyes: Wrongful Judicial Bias Harms Montanans
In Frontier Tech and Innovation Policy Analyst, Chris Isaacs’ most recent column he discusses how judicial bias towards unelected government bureaucrats is hurting Montanans.
Permit Reform Is Coming To Montana
Representative Steve Gist introduced HB 34 this week. Initially requested by the DNRC, HB 34 seeks to identify grants within the Conservation Resource Development Division routinely excluded from the Montana Environmental Policy Act. The Bill will allow these grants that qualify for MEPA exclusion to move forward without the perfunctory steps requiring determination, noticing, approval and publication. Another DNRC bill draft will expand categorical exclusions under MEPA, exempting more low-impact activities such as repairing and replacing existing infrastructure, fencing, and certain water developments from onerous permit requirements.
Our Take: While permitting reform languishes at the federal level, it’s encouraging to see Montana is moving forward with reforms to spur more economic activity.