Montana Chamber weighs in on November ballot measures

Aug 10, 2018|Press Release

HELENA – The Montana Chamber of Commerce announces positions on the following ballot measures that have qualified for the upcoming election. These positions follow presentations by proponents and opponents, deliberation by the Board of Directors and analysis of the issues.

All are weighed against the goals and objectives of Envision 2026, the 10-year strategic plan of the Montana Chamber, including increasing per capita income, jobs, and gross state product through workforce, entrepreneurship, business basics and infrastructure activities.

Support

6-Mill Levy for the Montana University System:

The 6-Mill Levy is a legislative referendum that is voted on once a decade. Since 1948, Montanans have kept their commitment to future generations by approving the 6-Mill levy, funding opportunity for students, communities and Montana’s economy.

The Montana Chamber strongly supports the renewal of this levy for our students, as it plays a key role in supplying a quality workforce for Montana businesses as well as entrepreneurship development. The 6-Mill levy is not a new tax – it is a Montana tradition, and benefits all Montana communities.

We encourage a “yes” vote on the ballot.

Oppose

I-185, Extend Medicaid Expansion and Increase Tobacco Taxes:

I-185 is poor tax policy, by singling out one industry to finance a state program that impacts people beyond that industry. It violates the principles of good tax policy: it is not broad-based, reliable, or fair.

Additionally, the Montana Chamber feels that combining two issues (a tax increase and Medicaid expansion) into one decision at the ballot box is not a good approach. Given the complexity of these two issues, this ballot initiative unnecessarily circumvents the legislative process and a thorough, informed discussion. Each issue should be considered carefully during the legislative process. The Montana Chamber will remain engaged in conversations about Medicaid expansion policy and legislative proposals for its renewal in Montana.

We encourage a “no” vote on the ballot.

Oppose

I-186, Requirements for Permits and Reclamation Plans of New Hard Rock Mines:

I-186 undermines our current effective environmental policy for existing and proposed mining operations. Perpetual water treatment is among the most advanced processes that mining companies can utilize to follow through on their commitments to maintain the environment. Often, water that is treated by this process is ultimately cleaner than it was prior to the mining operation.

The Montana Chamber recognizes the importance of environmental stewardship when exploring natural resources in our state. However, I-186 significantly reduces or eliminates the prospects of new mining operations in Montana. This reduces tax collections for schools and critical services, threatens good-paying Montana jobs, and hinders general economic activity in regions that need it most. Montana does not have to choose between exploring natural resources and protecting the environment – we can have both without I-186.

We encourage a “no” vote on the ballot.

 

 

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ABOUT THE MONTANA CHAMBER
Since it’s formation in 1931, the Montana Chamber of Commerce has been the state’s leading business advocate, representing members from the state’s largest businesses, to Main Street “mom-and-pop’s.”

OUR VISION:
As the leading business advocate, the Montana Chamber of Commerce envisions a business climate that is optimal for Montana business prosperity.

OUR MISSION:
To create and sustain an optimal business climate, business prosperity, and a strong Montana economy, the Montana Chamber of Commerce, through advocacy, education, and collaboration works to provide an empowered and educated workforce, reduce business growth obstacles, and advance positions that promote success for Montana businesses.

For Immediate Release
Aug. 10, 2018
Media Contact: Communications Director Alexandria Klapmeier
(C) 406-437-4634 or Alexandria@MontanaChamber.com

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