February 17, 2021 Print

When voters elected Greg Gianforte to the Montana governor’s mansion in November, they sent a clear message that they’ve had enough of the more taxes, regulations, and government control approach of the last several administrations. Gianforte, who won his election by over 12 percent, ran on a platform of deregulation, limited government, and getting Montanans back to work.

During the transition prior to being sworn into office, the governor’s team met with the Frontier Institute (FI), an Atlas Network partner, to discuss ways to put campaign promises into concrete policy. Kendall Cotton, CEO at FI, presented the Montana Recovery Agenda–an extensive report of proposals aimed at limiting government growth, reforming the state’s healthcare system, and protecting individual rights. “We looked at exit polls to understand what motivated voters to elect Montana’s first Republican governor in 16 years,” explained Cotton. “We found that they were overwhelmingly motivated by one thing: the economy.” The exit polls were reinforced by Gianforte’s decisive election win, and the priorities of the governor were aligned with those of FI.

The first executive order issued by Governor Gianforte cited the Frontier Institute’s agenda as he ordered the creation of a task force to address the growing burden of red-tape and overregulation. “The purpose of the Council,” the order states, “is to advise the Governor with respect to a plan for a comprehensive review and reform of regulations in every state agency.” The Council is scheduled to provide a report and proposed plan of regulatory review to the Governor by August 1, 2021. 

With the momentum of the task force and legislative progress at reforming the healthcare sector, FI is confident that most of their recommendations will become law. “The Frontier Institute is proud to have many legisla­tors and state leaders following our work closely,” continued Cotton. “When we released our Montana Recovery Agenda, TV news coverage highlighted several lawmakers who said they would be carrying legislation based on our recommendations. Right now, we anticipate lawmakers implementing at least seven of our eight proposals.” 

Atlas Network supported this initiative with a grant.