Join our Discord!



Top Issues in Montana in 2024: A Comprehensive Overview

3 min read
Good Party Politics Team · Mar 6, 2024

As the 2024 elections approach in Montana, voters have a range of issues and policy priorities on their minds. Montana’s presidential primary elections are coming up on June 4, 2024, and the general election will follow on November 5, 2024. 

In this guide, we’ll explore the top state-wide issues in Montana, before diving into the major concerns of voters in the state’s largest cities.

Top Issues in Montana

Here are some of the top concerns that have faced Montana’s state government in recent months, and that will continue to play a role in how voters approach the 2024 elections:

  1. State Infrastructure Projects: Responding to economic concerns in Montana, these appropriations enjoyed broad bipartisan support in 2023, with 1.7 billion dollars of expenditures going toward information technology connectivity; water treatment and transport projects; state government building refurbishment; and new construction and remodeling on public university campuses.

  2. Alcohol Sales: Also receiving strong support from both major parties was a bill to repeal the prohibition of the sale of alcohol on Sundays. Montana is one of only seven states that keeps such a rule in place. One of the social challenges in Montana and elsewhere, this law not only affects bars, restaurants, and major retailers, but home brewing businesses as well.

  3. Agriculture and Natural Resources: Farming and ranching are among the top revenue producers for Montana. During the last session of the state government, monies were appropriated for the management and control of troublesome weeds and diseases like saltcedar, Russian olive, and common buckthorn. Legislators may also get to comment on the revised Drought Management Plan submitted by the governor. This collection of measures addresses the regulation and control of the grizzly bear population; water supply management; and preserving ecosystems for wildlife species. Some of the provisions of the plan have already met resistance among lawmakers.

  4. Taxation and Revenue: Taxes and levies come with a dual purpose: to raise revenues for the government and to inhibit certain consumer behaviors. Levies on the purchase of tobacco and alcohol exemplify the latter, while taxing income from pensions and investments better represent the former. To allay the economic concerns in Montana among armed service veterans, the legislature voted to remove part of the military pension sum from taxable income. Taxes on cigars, meanwhile, were limited with a cap on the tax per cigar. In addition, property tax abatements were granted to those whose real estate hosted renewable and sustainable fuel production.

Statewide Ballot Initiatives

In addition to the concerns listed above, Montana faces the possibility of important ballot measures in 2024:

  • Legal Practice: This ballot initiative could transfer the rulemaking authority for state Bar admissions from the state supreme court to the state legislature.

  • Citizens’ Grand Jury Initiative: This measure would authorize citizens to convene a grand jury by a complaint and petition meeting certain requirements.

  • Top-Four Primary Initiative: This initiative would establish a top-four primary election system for certain state and congressional offices. Another initiative would ensure that these candidates must win a majority of the vote to be elected.

  • American Rodeo: This measure seeks to designate American rodeo as the state’s official sport.

  • Landowner Hunting Initiative: This initiative would alter regulations pertaining to landowners’ ability to hunt game on their own land.

The above initiatives have all been approved for signature gathering. In addition, the Right to Abortion Initiative has been filed. If passed, this measure would ensure a constitutional right to abortion in Montana.

Issues in Montana’s Major Cities

Civic Priorities in Billings

Billings has recently experienced a higher general crime rate, including rises in assaults and drug use. Youth violence is the target of a new initiative — one not without controversy — in public schools to make criminal acts into teachable moments. Other civic priorities include the clearing of sidewalks after snowstorms and relations with the nearby Crow Reservation.

Community Issues in Missoula 

In Missoula, public schools have recently struggled with how to deal with student crime and misbehavior. The staff at several schools have received email threats, leading officials to plan for contingencies. In January, this issue occurred in the Hamilton and Victor School Districts.

Public Policy in Great Falls 

The matters confronting Great Falls’ public policy are similar to the social challenges in Montana as a whole. The hub of Cascade County, Great Falls stands to benefit from a public purchase of new vehicles for myriad purposes: public works, public transit, law enforcement, first response, and more. Other items affecting public policy in Great Falls include the expansion of the business economy and new jobs that could potentially come with an expansion of the Malmstrom Air Force Base. These changes impact Great Falls public policy by widening the city’s tax base and improving revenue streams.

Voter Concerns in Bozeman 

In Bozeman, a high priority is the water supply. Low snowfall in this part of the state bodes poorly for abundant water in the spring and summer. This prospect has produced anxiety among local farmers and agribusinesses, which expect assurances from public officials. Adding to Bozeman’s voter concerns is the level of representation of Native Americans in local civic organizations, one of multiple social challenges in Montana.

Butte Political Landscape

Local leaders in Butte are trying to attract a battery component manufacturer to locate in the city. Such business would be good for public coffers, thus making this issue a central part of the Butte political landscape in 2024.

Get Involved in Local Politics

There are a variety of local issues facing voters across Montana in 2024, and there are also a variety of ways voters can get involved and make a difference.

Here are some of the best ways to make an impact:

  • Register to vote. As the 2024 elections approach, make sure you’re registered to vote. Then make a plan to participate in both the local and national elections.

  • Stay informed. A great way to become more invested in Montana politics is to stay up-to-date on the latest local issues and legislation.

  • Volunteer. What causes matter the most to you? Find a local or national organization that focuses on those issues. For instance, if you’re passionate about democracy and electoral reform, consider joining Good Party’s network of volunteers.

  • Run for office. There’s still time to file for office ahead of the 2024 elections. Running for local office is one of the most powerful ways to become a voice for important issues in your community. Ready to get started? Book a free consultation about launching a campaign in your local community.

Photo by Steven Cordes on Unsplash


Voter Education
Voter Guides
Campaign Messaging
By Good Party Politics Team
The politics team is focused on transforming the political landscape by promoting transparency, accountability, and positive change. They aim to engage citizens in the political process, encourage informed decision-making, and support candidates who prioritize the common good. Their mission revolves around creating a more fair and just political system, fostering collaboration, and breaking down traditional barriers of partisanship.