Montana’s Red Tape Relief Milestone
"While the progress of all of these bills is an exciting milestone, there is still a lot of work to be done."
You’ve been following along as we have covered the Red Tape Relief bills making their way through the legislature, but today I have a new milestone to report. We count at least 20 Red Tape Relief bills that are officially headed for Governor Gianforte’s desk!
Before the legislative session started, we identified at least 85 separate pieces of legislation proposed by state agencies targeting red tape relief across three different areas.
These three areas are based on categories laid out in Governor Gianforte’s Red Tape Relief Executive Order. The categories are: Especially Burdensome Impact on Small Business, Repeal Unnecessary Regulation and Modernize Outdated Regulations.
Here is a breakdown of the bills which have been sent to the Governor.
Of the bills that have been sent to the Governor, my personal favorite is HB 94, a bill which removes the absurd requirement that huckleberry pickers register their secret huckleberry patches with the government.
While the progress of all of these bills is an exciting milestone, there is still a lot of work to be done. Most bills only have a few weeks left to make it through at least one chamber or they will become dead bills.
To get the latest updates on where these Red Tape Relief proposals are at, be sure to check out our Red Tape Relief Tracker.
MTLeg Weekly Debrief: February 13-17
SB 287 strengthens protections for Montana property owners by clearly defining property interests specifically protected from being damaged or taken for public use without just compensation. Click here to learn more.
SB 302 aims to increase transparency and better inform voters of judicial candidates’ political leanings by requiring judges and justices to designate their party affiliation only for the general election. Click here to learn more.
SB 313 aims to ensure transparent oversight of the judiciary by requiring the Judicial Standards Commission (JSC) to publicly disclose certain proceedings on judicial misconduct complaints. Click here to learn more.
SB 323 follows Frontier Institute’s recommendations to eliminate California-style zoning in Montana cities by implementing recommendation 3B from the Montana Housing Task Force, which would broadly restore landowners’ right to build affordable starter homes like duplexes and triplexes. Click here to learn more.
HB 464 aims to increase transparency and better inform voters of judicial candidates’ political leanings by allowing judicial candidates to indicate their party affiliation or endorsement. Click here to learn more.
Blind Justice: The Right To An Unbiased Judiciary
This week I’m discussing judicial recusal requirements. Montana’s judges and justices have continually failed to timely recuse themselves when they have a conflict of interest. The threat of judicial bias will only get worse as more outside interests pour money into judicial campaigns. This threat has been recognized for nearly a decade, but Montana has yet to heed these calls for reform. Click here to go to the column.
“The reality is that the judiciary has a legitimacy crisis. Many Montanans believe the Supreme Court serves its own interests and should have more checks and balances to ensure there is no bias in the courtroom.”
Graphic of the Week