Red Tape Relief, Healthcare Reforms And Education Freedom
"The 2023 Legislative Session is shaping up to be a very exciting one, packed full of reforms."
Welcome to week two of the 2023 Montana Legislature!
This week we have identified four Key Bills and a slate of Red Tape Relief Bills.
SB 101 is a clean up bill, building off of SB 374 from 2021 which followed Frontier Institute’s recommendations to authorize healthcare practitioners to dispense prescriptions directly to patients in their office instead of requiring patients to make a separate trip to the pharmacy. The definition of “medical practitioner” in SB 374 left out naturopathic physicians, who are authorized to prescribe medications in Montana. SB 101 cleans this up to allow naturopathic physicians to also dispense medicine to their patients directly.
Current Status: Senate Business, Labor, and Economic Affairs Committee Hearing scheduled for January 11th at 8:30AM
SB 105 would prohibit local governments from imposing failed rent control programs on Montana property owners. Economists widely agree that rent control programs fail to keep overall rents down and actually lower the supply of affordable rentals in the long run. There is currently uncertainty in Montana law about whether local governments are allowed to implement rent control programs. SB 105 would clarify that rent control is not allowed.
Current Status: Senate Business, Labor, and Economic Affairs Committee Hearing scheduled for January 12th at 8:30AM
SB 112 follows Frontier Institute’s recommendations to address Montana’s healthcare shortages by authorizing pharmacists to independently prescribe routine medications to patients. This reform has been adopted by Idaho since 2019 and has been shown to dramatically increase access to time sensitive prescriptions like insulin and albuterol inhalers, especially in rural areas that don’t have a local doctor.
Current Status: Senate Public Health, Welfare and Safety Committee Hearing scheduled for January 18th at 3:00PM
SB 118 follows Frontier Institute’s recommendations to expand education options for Montana students. After the funding cap for the public school innovation program and cap for the private school scholarship tax credit were met in record time in 2022, SB 118 aims to increase these funding caps so that more schools, parents and students have access to these programs.
Current Status: Referred to Senate Taxation Committee
- 41 Bills hearings scheduled
- 12 Bills introduced
- 7 Bill drafts in assembly
To track the status of all of these Red Tape Relief Bills CLICK HERE.
Other Key Bill Updates:
- HB 101: Hearing before the House Human Services Committee has been rescheduled for January 12th at 3:00PM
The 2023 Legislative Session is shaping up to be a very exciting one, packed full of reforms. Stay tuned as I continue to provide you with the latest updates from Helena.
The Need For Skepticism, Dissenting Opinions And Uncensored Conversations
In this month’s Healthcare Viewpoints column, Dr. Kathleen Brown explores what happens when honesty is removed from the health care system.
“Think about what it would mean if a physician could lose his or her license due to a private discussion with a patient in an exam room for sharing a true and honest medical opinion.”
Pass Me A Beer
We have seen a host of new bills around alcohol licensing. Last Tuesday, the House Committee on Business and Labor had its first hearing on HB 71, revising the regulations around alcohol licensees. Sponsored by Rep. Denley Loge (HD14), the bill will expand the temporary operating authority to more than double what is currently permitted. The bill will also update language around inventory when the license is transferred to a new owner, the business is being restructured, or an additional license is granted. HB 71 unanimously passed the committee on January 5th. On the Senate side, Sen. Steve Fitzpatrick has sponsored three bills aimed at cutting unnecessary and outdated red tape related to alcohol.
Our Take: The last few years have made it evident just how much red tape needlessly hamstrings the hospitality industry. Representatives from the Montana Tavern Association, Hospitality and Development Association, Gaming Industry Association and the Montana Restaurant Association all spoke in favor of HB 71. This red tape relief bill will ensure that businesses can stay open and serve their communities during the licensure process. Further red tape relief will ensure that entrepreneurship, regardless of the industry, will continue to thrive in Montana.
Graphic Of The Week
To learn more about this graphic CLICK HERE.