Montana: A Sanctuary For Freedom And Free Enterprise

Tanner Avery

Director of The Center for New Frontiers

Tanner Avery
/ Blog
January 26, 2023

Montana: A Sanctuary For Freedom And Free Enterprise

"While some state governments have clamped down on their citizens with ever greater government control, Montana has taken a different approach, chartering a path that places the protection of individual rights at the forefront."

During last night’s State of the State address Governor Gianforte said something that really resonated with me:

“We’re gonna keep making Montana a sanctuary for freedom and free enterprise.” 

While some state governments have clamped down on their citizens with ever greater government control, Montana has taken a different approach, chartering a path that places the protection of individual rights at the forefront.

During the Governor’s address he looked back on the things our great state has already achieved, as well as setting the stage for the next steps that need to be taken to make the Last Best Place the official home of freedom and free enterprise.

Here are some of the highlights from his speech:

  • “That’s why on my second day in office, I created the red tape relief task force led by Lieutenant Governor Juris, they’ve left no stone unturned.” Since Day 1 we have been vocal champions of the Governor’s Red Tape Relief Initiative, which followed Frontier Institute’s recommendations to address Montana’s burden of harmful red tape and regulations. The Governor touted the success of the Initiative, which is currently shepherding numerous red tape relief bills through the legislature and promises to deliver unprecedented red tape relief to Montanans in 2023.
  • “Government should never stand between parents & their kids’ education. Let’s empower Montana parents to choose what’s best for their family and their kids.” The demand for more education options has been surging in Montana, this is something Frontier has been a long time supporter of and we plan to continue to advocate for.
  • “Let’s tear down barriers for health care professionals to practice in Montana.” We couldn’t agree more! Frontier has promoted extensive research demonstrating why Montana needs to reduce occupational licensure red tape and expand the ability of practitioners to care for patients.
  • “In 2021, we brought greater competition to the marketplace and more choice to consumers by authorizing direct patient care agreements.” Frontier played an instrumental role in crafting this legislation to give medical entrepreneurs the maximum freedom to provide affordable, quality options for healthcare. This legislation has allowed the number of Direct Patient Care (DPC) clinics in Montana to DOUBLE in the last year,  something we are incredibly proud of.
  • “If we want nurses, law enforcement officers and teachers to live in the communities they serve, we must address the shortage of affordable attainable housing as well.” Frontier Institute has been the leading conservative voice for housing reform and our research has been relied upon by lawmakers and the Governor’s Housing Task Force, which adopted several of our recommendations to eliminate harmful California-style zoning practices in Montana.
  • “Active management will protect our forests. When a forest is managed properly, we have less severe wildfires, more recreational opportunities, more wildlife habitat, and more jobs.” Over the last two years Frontier has been a leading proponent of active forest management, and now we have released policy solutions Montana leaders can adopt to expand proactive forest management. 

We couldn’t be more proud of the work we have done over the last two years and we look forward to doing even more to help Governor Gianforte make Montana a sanctuary for freedom and free enterprise.

For Liberty,
Tanner Avery

The Latest

MTLeg Weekly Debrief
This week we identified four key bills, significant movement of Red Tape Relief Bills and a handful of Key Bill updates.

SB 178 highlights a critical component of Frontier Institute’s 2022 Energy Strategy and protects the nascent crypto industry from government overreach. Learn more about this bill here.

SB 200 aims to improve transparency about the political leanings of judicial candidates in Montana, helping to ensure the judiciary is accountable to the people. Learn more about this bill here.

SB 201 ensures that judges and justices are removed from cases when they have received significant campaign contributions from one of the parties in the case. Learn more about this bill here.

HB 294 expands education freedom in Montana by increasing the tax credit scholarship funding cap so that more parents and students have access to an education system of their choice.

Click Here to see the status of Red Tape Relief bills and to get Key Bill updates.

A Milestone For Red Tape Relief
Last Wednesday, the House Business and Labor Committee had its first hearing on HB 152, revising professional and occupational licensing laws. According to the Business Standards Division Administrator Eric Strauss, the bill will remove 272 duplicative sections of code!  

Our Take: HB 152 follows Frontier Institute’s recommendations to make the pandemic model of universal licensure recognition permanent. The bill will allow outstate licensees to work in Montana for up to 21 days each year without requiring additional red tape. Critically, the bill will ensure that military spouses will continue working as they are redeployed to Montana. HB 152 will make Montana more competitive, strengthen economic growth and expand Montana’s healthcare workforce.

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