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Party Platform

You can view the MT GOP Platform by planks, or read the entire document at once

By plank: Agriculture | American Indian Affairs | Business and Labor | Crime | Economic Development | Education | Human Services | Immigration | Local Government | National Affairs | Natural Resources | State Administration | Taxation | Transportation

Or, read the entire platform below.



Agriculture

The Montana Republican Party recognizes agriculture as a premier industry which creates new wealth in our state economy—as goes agriculture, so goes our Treasure State. The private ownership of property is a fundamental principle of our constitutional republic and government’s only function is to secure such rights. We aggressively oppose government interference in, or regulatory control over agriculture beyond enumerated constitutional powers.

American Indian Affairs

The Montana Republican Party supports Native American tribes and their treaties with the Federal Government. We also support a continued economic relationship between the tribes and the State of Montana.

Business and Labor

Preamble

The Montana Republican Party believes in free market principals and the rights of employers and employees with a minimum of government interference and regulation.

Employment

We encourage all employers to hire Montanans. We believe that membership in labor bargaining units must remain free and flexible. We embrace the concept of multiple use and encourage responsible development and management of our renewable and nonrenewable natural resources industries by the private sector. We recognize the importance of new and existing Montana businesses as the source of economic growth in Montana. We support and encourage new capital investment in the Montana economy.

Worker's Compensation

We advocate a workers' compensation system that continues the reforms adopted by the sixty second Legislature

Government

We believe government programs should be restricted to those services which cannot be provided by the private sector. The role of government in economic development is to facilitate competitive private sector growth. We oppose unfunded government mandates. We believe in transparency in government.

Regulations

We support Republican efforts to reduce the size of state government. We advocate all state administrative rules, regulations and statutes be assessed and, as appropriate, amended or repealed for the benefit of Montana. We support the active cooperation of government and our basic industries in exploring opportunities for the export of Montana products in the world market.

Tort Reform

Tort reform is an important issue in Montana that must be addressed.

Crime

General Principle

We support the concept of individual responsibility; that each person is solely responsible for his or her actions.

Truth in Sentencing

The public has a right to know, at the time of sentencing, the minimum amount of time a criminal will be incarcerated and under what conditions the criminal may be eligible for parole.

Lifetime Supervision for Convicted Sexual Offenders and Internet Predation

The Republican Party supports lifetime registration, monitoring, and supervision of convicted sexual offenders and timely notification to victims and local (city and county) law enforcement of the offender’s pending release. We support the current laws that requires local law enforcement to be notified of the relocation of sexual offenders, and urge the local media to report these same facts. The information available to law enforcement will aggressively be disseminated to the public on the Attorney General’s website and by other proactive means.

Cyber-crime and child pornography are growing menaces that the legislature should continue to investigate and deal with appropriately. We support new laws establishing a separate penalty against internet predators who communicate with a child online and then travel to meet that child for the specific purpose of further sexually abusing him or her, and to establish penalties for offenders who misrepresent their age to seduce a child over the internet.

School Safety

Every school must have the authority to expel, or otherwise discipline a student who brings a firearm or dangerous weapon into a school building or commits or incites others to commit an act of violence toward teachers and/or students. Every school also has the authority to expel, or otherwise discipline a student who brings illegal substances onto school property.

Youth Court

Youth Court should focus on responsibility and accountability through immediate, consistent, enforceable, and unavoidable consequences for those who violate the law. Juvenile offenders must be made aware that their actions will have consequences. In the case of juvenile offenses, custodial parents or guardians must be a part of the restitution and rehabilitation process.

Prison Reform

We support prison reform requiring appropriate work for inmates; the development of alternative community-based restorative justice programs and facilities for prisoners convicted of non-violent crime; and prison living conditions which are humane, safe and, secure but without amenities so as to discourage recidivism. Any new Department of Corrections facility must be approved by the voters of the community in which it is proposed.

Sexual Offense Victims

We believe that expenditures of state funds should prioritize restitution and treatment of victims of sexual offenses and their families before treatment for those who commit sexual offenses or who are accessories to sexual offenses.

Restitution

Criminals have an obligation to repay victims or victims' families for the cost of the crime. The restitution obligation should be addressed at sentencing and a portion of the offender’s earnings should be applied to restitution.

Limit Appeals

We urge the federal government to expedite appeal(s) in death penalty cases and restrict frivolous lawsuits by inmates, recognizing that the costs are borne by the taxpayers of Montana.

Jury Authority

We reaffirm the principle espoused by our nation's founders that our court system belongs to the people, not the government. We recognize both the power and the moral obligation vested in juries to secure justice by judging both the facts of a case and application of the law itself. We support requiring judges to fully inform jurors of their constitutional rights and responsibilities.

Drugs and Alcohol

The legislature should continue its efforts to deal effectively with those who drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. We recognize the danger that substance abuse poses to our society. We support stronger penalties for repeat offenders. We support alternatives and options to reduce recidivism.

Medical Use of Marijuana

We recognize that a significant problem exists with Montana's current laws regarding the medical use of marijuana and we support action by the next legislature to create a workable and realistic regulatory structure.

Parental Rights

Parents shall be allowed to reasonably discipline their children, without legal consequences.

Consistency in Firearms Laws

Although the Montana Constitution gives the Board of Regents “full power” to “supervise, coordinate, manage and control the Montana university system,” it does not give the Board of any authority to amend, alter, or abolish the Montana Constitution, nor does it give the University System the authority to deny citizens of Montana the rights they have reserved to themselves from government interference in the Montana Constitution, including the right to keep and bear arms.

Economic Development

The Montanan Republican Party is committed to eliminating the barriers to economic development and fostering a business friendly environment through less government and more freedom. We advocate for:

  • Limiting regulations that inhibit development
  • Consistent, reasonable, and timely permits
  • Reforming or eliminating state agencies or departments that restrict economic development
  • Reducing or eliminating taxes that hinder development
  • Continuing to lower Workers’comp rates
  • Free market development of Montana’s diverse industries
  • Tort reform eliminating frivolous lawsuits that obstruct economic development
  • A legal system that is predictable, equitable, and constitutional, and a state supreme court that consistently follows the rule of law.      
  • A system of public and private education that responds to the needs of the market place.
  • Eliminating government programs that favor certain industries and companies at the expense of others.

Education

The Montana Republican Party supports the creation of a transparent, flexible, and accountable state-based school funding formula.

We support increased trustee discretion to:

  • deliver to each student the skills to compete in a world economy
  • to improve appropriate measured student outcomes including reporting and transparency of performance
  • to pursue innovation
  • to increase administrative efficiencies
  • to allocate academic and vocational funds
  • to provide daily opportunity for students to voluntarily pray and recite the Pledge of Allegiance
  • to control curriculum and the use of technology.

We support the right of parents to choose the way their children are educated through public, private, church, charter, virtual and home schooling or any combination of those, and through funding which more readily follows the student.

We support an affordable higher education system that responds quickly and effectively to student and parental needs and to the needs of a robust and rapidly changing economy.

Human Services

Preamble

The Montana Republican party recognizes that the individual has primary responsibility for his or her own health and welfare. We support efforts to improve the Montana human service delivery system by continuing to reassess the programs and participation of each department providing these services. We support treatment and care whenever possible in a family related manner at the local or community level. The Montana Republican Party affirms its belief and support for family values.

Human Life

We affirm our belief in traditional family values and support the preservation of innocent human life at every stage of life beginning at conception through natural death. In concert with this belief: 1) We support efforts to provide parental notification and consent, and informed consent in all cases involving abortion; 2) We support those individuals and organizations seeking to provide positive alternatives to abortion, such as streamlined adoption; 3) We oppose assisted suicide; 4) We oppose partial birth abortion; 5) We support a moratorium on human cloning for any purpose; 6) We support non-embryonic stem cell research; 7) We support abstinence education.

Health Care

We support the repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as ObamaCare. We support patients' maximum freedom of choice of health care providers..

Services to Children and Youth

We support social policies and services that preserve and strengthen the traditional family unit. We support inter-agency planning, collaboration, and coordination of family-based, faith-based, and community-based services tailored to the needs of children, adolescents and their families.

Immigration

The Montana Republican Party supports securing our borders against illegal immigration, removing illegal immigrants, and punishing employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens. The Montana Republican Party supports legal immigration according to existing statutes. We demand the federal government enforce immigration laws and prevent illegal aliens from entering and affecting job opportunities for United States citizens and compromising our national security. We further recommend that Social Security and government medical benefits will not be available to those who are not U.S. citizens. We support the strict interpretation of the 14th Amendment and the denial of amnesty to those here illegally.

Local Government

Preamble

The Montana Republican Party supports efforts to return control and authority to local units, as the government closest and most responsive to the people Funding We believe all levels of government are responsible for funding their own programs. No level of government should mandate responsibilities or programs to lower levels or subdivisions of government unless funding for those responsibilities and programs is also provided. Any additional State-mandated local government services should be funded by the State. We strongly urge the Governor of the state of Montana to refuse any federal mandated programs requiring funding by the State or local governments, except those based on a declared national emergency by the President of the United States. We continue to support the goal of limiting local property tax and fee increases and require greater accountability. We urge Congress to FULLY fund payments-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILT) for the purpose of reducing the property tax burden placed upon local taxpayers to provide services. We support the revenue sharing established by the Montana legislature and Montana’s units of local government in order to prevent tax increases at the local level..

Local Responsibility

We believe local governments are responsible for resolving local problems. State government should be responsible for its actions affecting local government and all state restrictions on self-government should be extremely limited and narrowly construed. Individual Rights We believe local governments shall enforce property use regulations only upon citizens living within the local government’s boundaries. The rights of individuals to vote on local governmental tax or fee issues and officials are fundamental. We also believe that growth policies developed by local governments are not regulatory documents and should not be viewed as such by governing bodies.

Property Rights

We believe that governmental units should protect individual rights associated with property ownership that guarantee a property owner’s ability to use property as the owner wishes, as long as he or she causes no harm. And to support this belief, prohibit the state of Montana and its political subdivisions from adopting and developing environmental and developmental policies that, without due process, would infringe or restrict the private property rights of the [property] owner[s].

Voter Rights

We encourage increased voter turnout in local elections. We support volunteer efforts to register new voters and to get them out to vote. We believe it is essential that every eligible voter exercise his or her right to vote. We believe eligibility should be established prior to the date of the election. We support vigilance over the integrity of the voting process and the deterrence of voter fraud.

Government Transparency

We support open meetings for government decision-making bodies. We strongly urge taxpayers to review, comment, and participate in the development of county, city, and school district budgets. We encourage all local government entities to strive for less intrusion into the private sector and to publish their budgets, draft policies, and regulations on the internet to provide transparency to the highest degree. We urge local bodies to use sunset review of all newly implemented taxes and fees.

United Nations Agenda 21 and Land Use

We recognize the destructive and insidious nature of the United Nations Agenda 21 and hereby expose to the public and public policy makers the dangerous intent of the Agenda 21 plan.

We encourage the State of Montana and its political subdivisions to engage in the coordination process with all federal government agencies that adopt policies under NEPA or other applicable federal law.

National Affairs

Preamble

The Montana Republican Party supports individual freedom and liberty for all citizens of the United States of America. We hold fast to the principles of our founding fathers, including self-determination, small government, state’s rights and equality for all citizens. We affirm that the United States Constitution is and shall be the "Supreme Law of the Land.” We adamantly oppose any attempts, whether direct or indirect, to destroy and/or undermine the Constitution of the United States and its Amendments, including the Bill of Rights.

Personal Rights and Liberties

We affirm the unalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all individuals. We affirm the sanctity of human life and the inherent dignity of each human being from conception to death. The people of Montana have voted to define marriage in our constitution as only between one man and one woman. We support the definition of marriage as only between one man and one woman

States' Rights

We agree with Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, who stated that the U.S. Supreme Court does not have the sole authority to judge the constitutionality of federal laws. We hold with these men that the States not only have the right, but also the duty to nullify unconstitutional laws in order to protect their citizens. We demand federal withdrawal from those areas of responsibility reserved by the U.S. Constitution to the states and people. We demand our state elected officials to undertake appropriate action, including legal action, to confine federal power within its constitutional limits. We strongly encourage the Governor of Montana to continue to utilize the authority extended to the Executive Branch by the Montana Legislature to vigorously defend Montana's right to self-governance under the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. We call upon our Congressional Delegation to urge strong states’ rights policies governing the use of public lands and resources in the West. We commend the passage of the American Lands Sovereignty Act. We oppose any extension of federal or regional bureaucratic control over water originating in Montana and consider any such action an infringement on states' rights. We demand that the United States comply with its compact with Montana, as that compact was understood in 1889 for inclusion of statehood. The Sherriff is the chief law enforcement officer of the county. We support the requirement that a federal officer may not arrest, search or seize in Montana without the advanced, written permission of the elected county sheriff.

Right to Bear Arms

We affirm that the right to bear arms is a right the people of Montana have reserved for themselves, individually, from interference by government agents and government employees. We oppose any restrictions on the type or number of firearms any law-abiding citizen may own or possess. We oppose any system of national registration of firearm owners and their firearms and the setting of limits on the quantities of firearms and ammunition that are owned by an individual. We strongly defend the Montana Firearms Freedom Act and the prosecution of any government agents violating that law. We oppose the concept of "gun free zones” in any form or in any place except detention facilities.

National Defense

We support peace through strength, and a strong military including the Montana National Guard and State Militia under the direction of the Governor. We acknowledge the need for the continued maintenance of military strength to defend our nation, with an emphasis on research and development, conventional forces, and refinement of strategic defense initiative technology. We support continuing efforts to prevent nuclear proliferation, but totally oppose any suggestions of unilateral disarmament on the part of the United States, or placing any troops or military resources under United Nations or foreign command or the deployment of United Nations or foreign Troops on United States soil for any reason, and support relocation of the U.N. to any country that will have them.

We strongly support defense of our borders by the federal government, upon their failure to do so the state will exercise their right to defend its borders. We strongly support the Constitutional requirement of a formal Congressional declaration of war before committing troops to a large scale military operation. We urge that those in charge of veterans’ affairs accelerate efforts of the appropriate agencies to meet the medical and physical needs of those impaired in the service of our country.

We stand against the indefinite detention of our citizens by certain provision of the NDAA as it violates the right of habeus corpus and the 5th, 6th, & 9th amendments of the US Constitution. We further affirm that we oppose the Patriot Act and all of its versions or others instruments that erode our individual liberties.

Inflation

We feel that vigilance must be used in continuing to control inflation, as this represents one of the greatest threats to the well-being of all Americans. 

Energy

We urge, through private enterprise, the development of energy resources, including alternative forms of energy. We oppose any federal or state government subsidy or mandate to purchase energy in any form. We oppose any tax on carbon emissions. All cost effective forms of energy shall have equal access to the grid as specified by deregulation. We oppose the federal government yielding to any international pressure to oppose any regulation on domestic energy production or consumption. We oppose any classification of CO2 or other greenhouse gasses as dangerous gasses or pollutants.

Telecommunications Policy

We believe that private industry will provide a viable information highway for the future if all government agencies will provide a supportive environment. We oppose federal telephone excise taxes and further government-imposed taxes, fees, or charges on telecommunications or the internet in any forms. We believe a modern telecommunications network will bring substantial benefits to the entire nation in areas such as economic development, education and health care. We oppose SOPA, PIPA, and CISPA, and all other future internet restrictions would infringe on the rights of citizens privacy.

Entitlements

We oppose the creation of any new entitlement programs or the expansion of any existing programs

Flag Desecration

We strongly support an amendment to the Constitution of the United States that would protect the flag from desecration.

National Sovereignty

We support the Republican National Committee resolution on United Nations Agenda 21 in its entirety.

Natural Resources

Preamble

Montana’s economic prosperity is inherently dependent upon the responsible and sound management and development of natural resources. We support a natural resource development policy that promotes jobs in Montana and reduces our dependence on foreign resources

Water

Montana's water quantity and quality are of prime importance to our quality of life and our general economy. We will continue to defend the 'first in time, first in right' doctrine protected by State Law We support cooperative efforts and water leasing to provide in-stream water for fisheries during periods of low flow, if not detrimental to prior appropriators. We recognize the responsibility of maintaining existing beneficial uses of water in our state and support the continued beneficial development of water. We support retaining existing water storage projects and dams and we oppose the federal prohibition on additional impoundments of water. We oppose any claim or actions of others, including the federal government and downstream states, to Montana’s water that could in any way damage our rights and/or economy. We oppose removing the word navigable from the definition of waterways regulated by the Corps of Engineers.

Land

Any government involvement in land use planning should be local and with full recognition of the primary rights of private land ownership. We oppose the federal government and any foreign or international entity, such as the United Nations, exercising authority over domestic land use decisions. We believe that eminent domain should not be used for private profit purposes. We oppose the creation of 'buffer zones' by legislation, administrative or judicial rule, or agency policy to expand water and land use restrictions. We oppose any federal special land designations We urge the Montana Congressional delegation to sunset wilderness study areas.

The Montana Republican Party opposes the creation of any additional wilderness areas. We oppose the circumvention of Congressional authority by the executive branch to create de facto wilderness areas and national monuments to restrict public access to and use of federal lands. We oppose additional acquisition of acreage by state or federal agencies. Any public acquisition of private land cannot result in a net acreage gain to the state or federal government. We oppose any easements in perpetuity.

Timber

We urge government agencies to aggressively pursue and manage public timber areas. Management should focus on sustained yield and include voluntary Best Management Practices to provide adequate environmental stewardship. We support timely harvesting and restoration of fire and beetle damaged forest. We urge improved economic well-being of our timber communities through developing legislative and administrative actions that promote existing and value added wood products in Montana. We oppose the let burn policy and the use of controlled burning where those objectives can be achieved with responsible timber management and harvest. We support the use of tariffs until consultation by the United States with foreign countries results in an easing of economic conflicts or establishment of fair, free trade agreements.

Energy and Minerals

We support the private development of energy and mineral resources and oppose the government acquisition of any privately held energy and mineral assets in any form. We strongly encourage the development of Montana's abundant, economically viable renewable energy resources, and urge continuing development of economically viable alternative energy systems for both Montana and national energy needs. We support the state and federal government in recognizing hydroelectric dams as renewable energy. We believe exploration, development, and management of energy and mineral resources in an economically and environmentally responsible manner is essential. We support the development of Montana coal for domestic and export use. We oppose carbon taxation in any form including cap and trade legislation. We support coal-fired generation in Montana and we reject the classification of carbon dioxide as an air pollutant. We support the construction of additional transmission and pipelines within the State of Montana to transport all sources of electric generation, oil and natural gas to provide improved access to markets both within Montana and out of state, However the economic interests of Montana must first be addressed, including power generation, refining and processing.

Environmental Impacts

We support informed natural resource decision-making by government entities based on sound science. We strongly encourage the coordinated cooperation of all property owners and government entities to assure the people of Montana that all possible efforts are being made to eradicate noxious weeds within our state. We urge the state legislature to review all environmental administrative rules of Montana that do not have a scientific peer reviewed studies. Fish and Wildlife

We urge the Department of Fish Wildlife and Parks in coordination with other affected agencies and local government to manage the state’s wildlife and fish resources in a manner which will be responsive to local concerns, including diseased wildlife and habitat capacities. The federal Endangered Species Act, National Environmental Policy Act, and Montana Environmental Policy Act should be reformed by considering the impacts to private property rights, the economy and society. We support responsible hunting, trapping and fishing harvest numbers that carefully balance resource conservation, property owners’ rights, the economy, and the safety of our citizens. We support decreasing restrictions on access within the federal lands in Montana. We support public access of land encumbered by conservation easements managed by any agency of state government. We support the aggressive implementation of Montana's current Wolf management plan. We support the delisting of wolves and grizzly bears, to be managed along with other species by the state using appropriate methods.

State Administration

The Montana Republican party supports small, effective, and efficient government.

The Montana Republican Party recognizes a need to strengthen the legislative oversight of administrative rule making to ensure that the intent of the legislation not be exceeded or lost, subject to final approval of bill sponsors. We support policies which assure the right of the respective political parties to nominate their candidates free of undue influence by electors outside of the party.

Taxation

Federal, state and local taxes should be low broad-based and easily understood.

Transportation

Safe and efficient transportation is vital to Montana’s economic stability and to the national security of the United States of America. The Montana Republican Party strongly supports continued development, maintenance, and infrastructure improvements for all transportation in Montana. We support the motor carrier industry in providing safe and efficient transportation services to the Montana public. We support the interstate, intrastate, and farm to market highway (secondary state highways and county roads) systems. Transportation is vital to commerce, independence, economic development, and job growth in the state of Montana and as such we support an efficient and effective transportation system. We encourage all government officials and agencies to coordinate their agencies to encourage, promote, and assist—not obstruct—economic development and commerce in our state.