Montana’s Free-Market Housing Reforms Garner National Attention
"Montana has been making waves across the country for the recent passage of free-market reforms aimed at addressing the state’s housing crisis."
Like me, you’re probably used to Montana getting national attention for our beautiful scenery, but in the last few weeks our state has been getting national attention for something entirely different.
Montana has been making waves across the country for the recent passage of free-market reforms aimed at addressing the state’s housing crisis. And here at Frontier, we couldn’t be more proud to have played a role.
As other states have mandated developers dedicate a portion of housing as affordable, and others have even used taxpayer funds to directly subsidize the cost of housing for a select few, we took a different approach.
By pointing out that strict zoning regulations largely pioneered by 20th-century California progressives were harmful to affordability and threatening to our way of life, we were able to change the conversation entirely.
In an interview with Business Insider, Frontier President and CEO, Kendall Cotton explained, “the zoning maps of Montana cities — like Missoula and Bozeman — that are quickly growing, look eerily similar to the zoning map of LA.”
Rather than following the path of California, here at Frontier, we have advocated for addressing the housing crisis by strengthening Montanans’ right to build the most affordable types of housing, such as duplexes.
“The pro-housing reforms supported by our legislature will protect Montana’s rural areas and ranch land from California-style urban sprawl by providing more freedom to landowners to build affordable starter homes in cities,” Kendall Cotton told CoStar news.
Our reforms have struck a chord with people across the country who would like to see a solution to the housing crisis, but don’t want to see government get involved with more failed mandates or subsidies. The simplest solution really is a no brainer – get government out of the way of people building new homes.
We couldn’t be more proud of the work we’ve done to bring about these housing reforms, and we look forward to bringing our Pro-Freedom solutions to the other problems Montanans face.
Unleashing Physicians Assistants
Yesterday, Governor Gianforte signed into law HB 313, a bill which authorizes the independent practice of Physicians Assistant.
Our Take: Evidence has long shown PA’s perform just as well as doctors in terms of patient outcomes, and PA’s have been authorized to practice independently in several nearby states. The signing of HB 313 represents a big step towards expanding access to healthcare for Montanans.
Washington’s loss could be Montana’s gain.
Last Thursday, Advanced Electric Inc. withdrew from its plans to develop a crypto-mining operation in Longview, Washington. Earlier this month, the Longview’s Planning Commission began drafting policies that would effectively ban crypto mining in the city. Washington and Oregon once attracted dozens of crypto mining operations thanks to easy access to hydroelectric power, but no longer. Cities and counties in these states pushed out most crypto companies thanks to NIMBY zoning laws and arguably discriminatory energy rates. One county charged miners triple what was charged to residents and another capped the total energy consumption. These policies are effectively killing a nascent industry in Washington and Oregon.
Our Take: Montana can gain from Washington and Oregon’s shortsighted policies. Like those two states, Montana has easy access to hydroelectric power. Montana will also be the first in the nation to protect crypto miners’ “right to mine.” Senator Zolnikov’s SB 178 has passed both Legislative houses and is waiting for the Governor’s signature. This bill will protect crypto miners from the same regulations pushing out many businesses in Washington and Oregon, ensuring Montana will become a hub in this emergent technology.
Graphic Of The Week
The value of manufacturing construction activity in the Mountain West (Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming) is now six times higher than in 2017, powered in part by the burgeoning expansion of semiconductor manufacturing in Arizona and Utah. Though post-pandemic growth has not yet fundamentally shifted American manufacturing’s historic center of gravity, new investments promise to at least tilt it further towards the South and Mountain West.