Today, Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Hill and his running mate, Senator Jon Sonju, met with local business owners, legislators, and industry groups to discuss their plans to engage state government into the decision making process of federal agencies.
"A pillar of our campaign is to protect Montanans from federal overreach and in order to do that we have to be proactive. We plan to express Montanans' concerns about federal regulatory actions and activities early and often, not just wait for a proposal or mandate and then decide to act," said Hill. Hill announced that if elected, Jon Sonju as Lt. Governor will head up the Governor's Office of Economic Development. That office will be responsible for working with federal agencies and the private sector groups and local governments that are affected by federal actions or proposals.
"We need a direct and proactive effort to influence federal rules or regulations in Montana's favor. That's why our Office of Economic Development, led by Jon, will proactively weigh in on federal regulatory actions and activities. Jon will be on the front lines to ensure that Montanans' interests are represented and protected," said Hill.
Hill said he would sign an executive order requiring that all comments from state agencies pertaining to state or federal land use plans and federal rule making be routed through the Office of Economic Development and be approved by the Lt. Governor.
"By putting the comment process under one roof, we will assure that Montanans have a consistent and unified voice in response to federal actions." said Hill.
"The State of Montana is not using its muscle to influence federal management decisions within Montana. Montanans deserve a state government that will stand up for them throughout the federal rule making process, " said Sonju.
"We need to push back on the federal government and make sure they aren't doing things that hurt Montana. For too long when the federal government rolls out a new plan or rule, the only people that get their way are the special interest groups. We plan to change that," said Hill.
Hill and Sonju's plan also includes:
- Weighing in on federal land management decisions such as timber sales, transportation plans, resource development plans, park management plans, forest restoration plans, and species management plans.
- Weighing in on all Endangered Species Act listings or proposed listings.
- Developing and proposing a state management of federal land pilot project, with additional opportunities to expand.