Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - Governor Greg Gianforte and Lieutenant Governor Kristen Juras held a joint press conference on Thursday to promote over 180 bills introduced in the Montana Legislature that helped to cut red tape in a myriad of areas throughout the state, from construction to agriculture.

Gianforte praised all the parties involved for pitching in to reduce red tape for Montanans.

Gianforte Hosted his Third Press Conference in a Week

“They've worked with industry stakeholders and incorporated widespread public input,” began Gianforte. “They brought together diverse bipartisan groups from both public and private sectors, and they've dug deep, led the way to find where friction exists between state agencies and the citizens of Montana where it doesn't need to be. And then they developed solutions, built consensus around these proposals, and forged a path forward for this legislative session.”

Gianforte especially praised Lieutenant Governor Juras for being the ramrod in the Red Tape Relief effort.

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Gianforte Tasked Lt. Governor Juras with Leading the Task Force

“I've been looking forward to this day for a long time,” said Juras. “It's been two years now since we really seriously started going after this. We began asking the agencies to look at their internal policies, and what can they do better and immediately had some huge successes. (DNRC) Director (Amanda) Kaster moved our online bidding for all and gas leases on straight state trust lands from having to be here in person to an online process, which increases the number of bids and more importantly, the money generated.”

David Smith, Executive Director of the Montana Contractors Association, said the red tape effort reminded him of another color that the building industry deals with on a daily basis.

“In the construction world, we are very familiar with yellow tape,” said Smith. “It's caution tape that tells you to slow down; be careful; there might be some danger ahead. As the governor mentioned, Senate Bill 57 allows the Department of Transportation to do alternative contract delivery. This process can consolidate projects under one contract, which makes them more efficient and saves taxpayers money. Instead of bidding out a project on one or two bridges, a project could be bid out for 10 to 12 bridges.”

Reducing 'Red Tape' is Designed to Streamline Projects around the State

Gianforte then introduced Todd O’Hare, President and CEO of the Montana Chamber of Commerce, who praised the governor’s overall strategic plan.

“The Montana Chamber of Commerce is the state's largest business advocacy organization,” said O’Hare. “In 2016, after a two-year process of working with business leaders around the state of Montana, the Montana Chamber of Commerce unveiled a strategic plan that was driven by business leaders’ desire to get an economy in Montana that we, as Montanans deserve. This regulatory reform that we see applies to each one of the strategic pillars that we have that we're focused on; from entrepreneurship, from workforce development, from infrastructure, and from a general business climate perspective.”

Governor Gianforte established his Red Tape Relief Task Force while in his first week in office.

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