Montana: Destination Innovation
"With a regulatory sandbox in place to fast-track innovation, our state could become a destination for businesses nationwide."
“Innovation is the ability to see change as an opportunity – not a threat.” – Steve Jobs
In response to COVID-19 the state of Montana jumped into action, temporarily waiving more than 130 regulations to boost health care system capacity and provide more flexibility in the private sector.
These short term solutions during a period of crisis ended up having long term benefits as lawmakers were able to identify and permanently repeal many old regulations that weren’t necessary to keep around anymore. In fact, legislators were unanimous in passing Rep. Rhonda Knudsen’s HB 43 last year, permanently repealing telehealth regulations waived in the pandemic.
The success of the flexible regulatory approach taken by Montana’s government during the pandemic should be a model for what we can do next to unleash economic growth.
That’s why this week we released a new one-pager explaining why Montana should consider adopting a Regulatory Sandbox to help identify unneeded red tape and fast-track innovative businesses with good ideas to the market.
Regulatory sandboxes grant businesses a space to operate free from burdensome and outdated regulations for a set period of time, say two or three years, while still undergoing oversight to protect consumers’ health and safety. This is especially helpful for start-ups trying to launch innovative new products or services that don’t fit into the established regulatory framework. Regulatory Sandboxes also give policymakers time to safely test and learn the effects of waiving certain regulations before deciding whether they should be reformed or repealed.
11 states have adopted regulatory sandboxes, including our regional neighbors South Dakota and Wyoming:
With a regulatory sandbox in place to fast-track innovation, our state could become a destination for businesses nationwide.
Adjusting Medical Licensing
In this month’s Healthcare Viewpoints column, Dr. Kathleen Brown discusses how Montana’s chronic shortage of health care workers could be alleviated by adjusting licensing requirements.
“During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, medical licensing rules in many states were waived temporarily to facilitate telemedicine. This helped bring medical care to underserved areas. If it was OK to do this during COVID-19, shouldn’t we consider making these waivers permanent?”
Bringing Innovation to Montana
This week Frontier President & CEO Kendall Cotton met with Senator Steve Daines to discuss how we can make Montana a destination state for innovation by slashing red tape that stands in the way of entrepreneurs.
“Reducing Montana’s regulatory burden will help make our state more competitive and a national leader in entrepreneurship and innovation” said Cotton.
Montana Leads in Job Growth
A new report ranks the states by the number of new jobs that were created in that state between 2020 and 2022. Montana ranks 3rd, behind our regional neighbors Utah and Idaho.
Our Take: It shouldn’t come as any surprise that 3 of the top 5 states for job creation cut taxes in 2021. This is further evidence that the best way to promote economic growth is for government to get out of the way. If officials keep this mind set, Montana will continue to lead the nation in economic growth and job creation.