On the first day of the 67th Legislature, Republican legislative leaders outlined their top policy goals. GOP lawmakers now have a conservative counterpart in the governor’s office for the first time in nearly two decades.
The 2021 Republican action plan offers six broad priorities rather than specific bills.
GOP lawmakers say they want to balance the state budget with no tax increases, create jobs, protect guns rights, restrict access to abortion, extend access to public lands, strengthen private sector health care and allow for broader local control of education.
Republicans’ policy wishlist has at times been out of reach with a Democrat in the governor’s office holding veto power. Conservatives are optimistic of their goals now that Republican Greg Gianforte is holding the office.
“In addition to the pandemic, the 67th Legislature will be historic because for the first time in 16 years Montana now has a Republican governor," Senate Majority Leader Cary Smith said.
Gianforte has not yet released his list of top legislative priorities, but has said it will be based on the broad policy plan he campaigned on. Speaker of the House Wylie Galt said the Republican Caucus and Gianforte are most aligned on their desire to cut regulations and taxes for businesses.
“The big one of course is allowing the businesses to be able to get back to work and bounce back after this COVID," he added.
Leaders said they will be announcing specific bill drafts in the coming weeks.