Push Points for Progess
A critical element of economic growth is affordable, reliable power. The energy shortage in California is wreaking havoc on the Intermountain West. If Montana is to prosper, we must capitalize on our abundant resources to supply our increasing energy needs.
- The Major Facilities Siting Act must be a mechanism for meeting our strict environmental standards, not a barrier to building new generation facilities or creating good paying jobs;
- We will encourage construction of new generation facilities with lower tax rates on capital investment in Montana;
- We will pursue allowing large industrial users the option of a one-time chance back on the power grid;
- The state must be prepared to assure that the default supplier will have long-term contracts in place.
Environmental Protection & Better Jobs
Government must be responsive and efficient for all Montanans, including Montana's job creators. We need to encourage government agencies to be more accountable by streamlining permitting processes, helping people with environmentally sound business plans to start a business and stay in business, and protecting taxpayers with responsible bonding requirements that promote environmental stewardship.
- The procedures for meeting the requirements of the Montana Environmental Policy Act must be modernized in a manner that promotes environmental stewardship, not that serves as a barrier to responsible job creation;
- Montana citizens deserve protection from anyone who irresponsibly negates their obligations to meet Montana's tough environmental standards with sound management practices and reclamation; and
- Montana must actively manage our resources with environmentally sensitive practices in order to create and sustain high paying jobs.
Government Reform for Economic Growth
In order for economic growth to occur, we need business leaders and recruiters working directly with the Governor on a daily basis. Specifically, we will reform the Department of Commerce to move the economic development functions under the Governor's direct supervision.
- The employees and budgets directly involved in business retention and recruitment within Commerce will come under direct supervision of the Governor;
- A clearly defined structure for the new office of business development and retention will be outlined;
- Financial resources will be made available to partner with the private sector to pursue a professionally conducted comparative analysis of Montana's economy with quantifiable recommendations for developing Montana's economy;
- The loan and incentive programs within government will be consolidated under one umbrella to be more accessible to Montana's entrepreneurs; and
- We will lobby Washington through our Congressional delegation for expanded air service to MT.
Quality Education & Workforce
We will capitalize on the outstanding education we provide our young people by promoting accountability in our schools and universities, and by making job training and vocational education opportunities available to Montana's young people.
- Montana job creators willing to invest in workforce training will receive an incentive for their part in preparing a quality workforce;
- We will examine the effectiveness of tuition freezes at vocational institutions to encourage attendance that will give us necessary time to strengthen and expand vocational and technological curriculum;
- We will begin the dialogue on transitioning to performance based budgeting for universities.
Fairer Taxes for Stronger Growth
To attract and retain job creators, and to make it easier for Montanans to raise their families and ever improve our quality of life, we need meaningful tax reform that is fairer and simpler.
- We will lower our top marginal tax rates that are a major deterrent to retaining and attracting successful entrepreneurs;
- We will eliminate filing requirements for Montanans who live in poverty; and
- We will stay the course on complete elimination of the business equipment tax, which has already allowed thousands of Montana businesses to reinvest tax savings in business expansion and new employment.