Results from a poll of Montana small-business owners released by the National Federation of Independent Business finds them wanting state government’s hands off of two issues, divided over another, and wanting it to assert its authority in one case.
Every year NFIB, America’s largest and leading small-business association, polls its members on state and national issues vital to their ability to own, operate and grow their enterprises. Results from the poll center NFIB’s lobbying positions in Washington, D.C. and in Helena. NFIB has 350,000 dues-paying members nationwide, including nearly 6,000 in Montana.
The 2016 Montana state ballot asked four questions.
Should the Montana Legislature prohibit local governments from adopting their own employment ordinances?
Yes 62 percent
No 27 percent
Undecided 11 percent
Do you support legislation requiring employers who do not offer an employer-sponsored retirement plan to offer a Montana state-sponsored retirement account for their employees?
Yes 7 percent
No 87 percent
Und. 6 percent
Should Montana require employers to provide hourly employees with work schedules at least two weeks in advance and require them to pay ‘predictability pay’ if a shift is changed or canceled?
Yes 2 percent
No 96 percent
Und. 2 percent
Should Montana require all employers to use a nationwide verification system in order to determine whether a job applicant is eligible to work in the United States?
Yes 33 percent
No 48 percent
Und. 18 percent
“Predictive scheduling is part of a nationwide effort by some politicians to involve themselves further in the operations of enterprises,” said Riley Johnson, NFIB’s Montana state director. “The inherent problem with it is that employers cannot so easily predict continued sales, emergencies, and other daily changes. Would state government like to give predictable profits to business owners when changes in customers and customers’ tastes occur? No, it wouldn’t. Small-business owners already labor under enough paperwork regulations, so adding more by allowing local governments to set their own employment ordinances is also as unwelcome as the predictive scheduling idea. And like every state, Montana struggles with its finances and state-employee pension funds, so putting it in charge of the retirement plans of private-sector employees is something to be avoided. Private-sector employees whose employers don’t offer retirement savings have abundant options for doing it themselves.”