Business and government leaders explain why people are moving to growth-friendly states like Montana

States like Montana, Idaho and Utah have grown faster than most of the rest of the country, which Montana’s political and business leaders have attributed to both lifestyle, environment commercial and state policy.

“As people are looking for places to live, they are looking for quality of life, but also quality leadership from government officials,” Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., told Fox Business. “They see that in Montana.”

“When you see the increasingly heavy hand of big governments in coastal states like California, New York, Washington, the American people yearn for freedom, they yearn for a quality of life as well as a quality of leadership “, he added.

According to Pew, Montana was the third fastest growing state between July 2020 and July 2021, behind Idaho and Utah. Seventeen states saw their populations shrink during the year, including New York, California, Hawaii and Illinois.

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Home prices in Missoula, Montana have appreciated significantly over the past few years. (Stock)

At the “Montana on the Rise” economic summit, co-hosted by Daines and the Montana Chamber of Commerce, Bill Moseley, CEO of GL Solutions, said Montana’s regulatory policies are “exceptional,” comparing them to policies States. like Oregon, where they “regulate everything”.

Will Lansing, CEO of FICO, noted that “the business-friendly environment is huge, and it’s not everywhere in the country.”

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“Montana is open for business with a business-friendly policy,” Montana Governor Greg Gianforte told Fox Business. “We have many entrepreneurs moving here. We’re removing friction, we’re lowering taxes, we’re lowering regulations.”

A road to a mountain in Montana

Zimmerman Trail winding over rim rocks on the west end of Billings, Montana. (Stock)

Kevin O’Leary, known as Mr. Wonderful on the hit show Shark Tank, noted that states across the country are competing for business and places like Montana are winning.

“There’s a really interesting competition starting between the states,” O’Leary said.

“New York: terrible for business. New Jersey: terrible for business. Massachusetts: horribly terrible for business. California is not in business,” he added.

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As evidence of this, O’Leary, along with Daines, Gianforte, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes Secretary Martin Charlo, and Bitzero CEO Akbar Shamji announced at the summit that a Bitzero Data Center would be built. in Montana, using hydroelectric power.

Montana Governor Greg Gianforte

Montana Governor Greg Gianforte (Getty Pictures)

Growth in states like Montana, however, is not painless. Former U.S. Senator Max Baucus, a Democrat who represented Montana in the U.S. Senate for 35 years, said the state’s feel has changed somewhat.

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“The character of the state is changing a bit,” he said. “There are growth issues. There are housing issues. And the character of walking down the street downtown [Bozeman] changed a bit from what it was 50 years ago.”

Gianforte also recognized the labor and housing issues that accompanied a rapidly growing population.

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“We have a severe housing shortage in this country, especially in states with a net influx of people, that’s even more acute,” Gianforte said. “We think a free market solution is the right way. We’ve streamlined licensing… let’s increase supply so you can catch up with demand in housing space.”

Between August 2020 and August 2021, home prices in Montana rose the third fastest in the nation, behind Idaho and Arizona, according to a CoreLogic report.

About Jefferey G. Cannon

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