To:   Board of Regents

From:   Richard A. Crofts, Commissioner

Date:   January 15, 2003

Subject:   Inventory of Challenges Facing State Government

The Regents at the November meeting asked me to provide a written summary of the challenges facing State government learned from our conversations and discussions with state officials.

Here is a list of the items developed thus far:


  •          Low revenue stream from tax structure in need of reform
  •          High cost of essential government relative to low revenue stream
  •          Role of tax incentives for business development
  •          High income tax rates (or the perception of high income tax rates) and no sales tax


  •          Number of MUS campuses and number of K-12 school districts

Workforce Development:

  •          Need for better coordination of all efforts
  •          Need for more two-year graduates, more technical training, and more continuing education and specialized training for workers
  •          Need for clearer relationships between training and education and jobs

Information Technology:

  •          Collaboration and Coordination of information technology services and resources
  •          Potential Efficiencies through joint purchasing
  •          Providing quality, high-speed Internet connectivity to all Montanans at affordable prices


  •          Effective alternatives to incarceration
  •          Control of the cost of imprisonment


  • Lack of planning and vision for the future of the State

Economic development:

  •          Coal methane development in environmentally sound fashion
  •          Clusters

Dispute resolution -- discussions with Consensus Council about collaboration and affiliation.

Homeland Security and disaster recovery -- discussions with Commission on Public Service to assist in the development of Citizens' Councils to deal with security and emergency challenges.

Ongoing collaboration between Forest Conservation and Experiment Station and State Department of Forestry on forest management, timber harvest, and recreation.