Frontier Institute statement in support of HB 158

Frontier Institute statement in support of HB 158

Lawmakers should carefully evaluate regulations that were waived during the COVID emergency to determine if they were necessary in the first place.

HELENA (Jan. 19, 2021) – Today the Frontier Institute offered support for HB 158, a bill which directs a commission to study the regulations waived during the COVID emergency and recommend legislation to repeal regulations which are not necessary to keep.

HB 158, proposed by Representative Caleb Hinkle of Belgrade, follows Frontier Institute’s recommendations for lawmakers to gather an independent group of stakeholders to oversee an accountable process of reviewing and reducing Montana’s regulatory burden.

“Excessive red tape harms Montana businesses, stifles economic growth and makes us less competitive than our neighbor states,” said Kendall Cotton, President and CEO of the Frontier Institute. “HB 158 asks lawmakers: if regulations had to be waived during an emergency to promote public health and welfare, were they really necessary in the first place?”

Problems with Montana’s regulatory climate highlighted by the Institute include:

  • Montana has the second-most regulatory restrictions per capita among its regional neighbors, trailing only Wyoming and well ahead of Colorado, Idaho and Utah.
  • It would take an individual about 263 hours—or nearly seven weeks—to read the 4.7 million words in the 2019 Administrative Rules of Montana.
  • Some of the industries most heavily burdened by regulation in Montana are also among the most important to the state’s economy, such as animal production and mining.

IMAGE: (Thom Bridge/Independent Record via AP)

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