HELENA, Mont. – Updating and modernizing the ballot measure process is of critical importance to Montana. Too often we find ourselves facing ballot measures that are geared toward special interests, while having a detrimental impact on our state. The Montana Chamber of Commerce wants to help ensure the ballot measure process remains equitable for all Montanans by proposing specific changes to the ballot measure process through Senate Bill 93.
The Montana Chamber of Commerce proposes common sense rules to reduce the abuse and misuse of ballot measures. These changes include:
- Streamlining the ballot committee process.
- Closing campaign finance loopholes.
- Reimbursing taxpayer costs through a filing fee.
- Prohibiting illegal electronic signatures.
- Create cooling-off period for failed ballot measures before filing again.
“Montana has seen a lot of frivolous and extreme ballot proposals that waste taxpayer resources,” said Todd O’Hair, Montana Chamber of Commerce President & CEO. “A lot of ballot measures look like somebody throwing ideas at the wall to see what sticks. Some of them abusively violate our campaign-finance laws with toothless penalties.”
The Montana Chamber of Commerce and key coalition partners have spent the past year researching and developing ballot measure reform priorities and language in preparation for SB 93. “We have proposed these changes with the intention of increasing the quality of ballot measures filed and ensuring that they are constructive and beneficial to the people of Montana,” said O’Hair.
A broad coalition of Montana business and agriculture organizations representing thousands of workers, businesses, farms and ranches spoke in support of SB 93 and the proposed amendments at the Senate State Administration Committee hearing on Wednesday, including:
- Big Sky Chamber of Commerce
- Kalispell Chamber of Commerce
- Montana Association of REALTORS
- Montana Bankers Association
- Montana Coal Council
- Montana Contractors Association
- Montana Farm Bureau Federation
- Montana Mining Association
- Montana Pork Producers Council
- Montana Trucking Association
- Montana Wood Products Association
- Treasure State Resources Association
- United Property Owners of Montana
SB93 was heard in the Senate State Administration Committee on Wednesday, February 1 at 3 p.m.
Media Contact: Charles Robinson, Government Relations Director
406-431-5141 | [email protected]
About the Montana Chamber of Commerce
Established in 1937, the Montana Chamber of Commerce is the state’s largest business advocacy organization serving its 2,000 members, from sole proprietors to publicly traded companies, all industry sectors located throughout the Treasure State.
The Montana Chamber is guided by Envision 2026, a 10-year strategic plan which aims to grow Montana’s economy by improving the business climate, ensuring appropriate infrastructure investment, developing a skilled workforce, and promoting entrepreneurship.