Argument For C-43
The 2005 Legislature has asked that the people of Montana vote on whether to amend the Montana State Constitution to change the name of the State Auditor to Insurance Commissioner. The citizens of Montana would be better served by adopting this name change.
The name of an office created by the state constitution should reflect the purpose of the office and what the office holder does. Currently the Montana State Auditor does not audit in the traditional sense. The term “state auditor” is confusing to consumers and causes misunderstandings and delays. Many states use the name “insurance commissioner” for this type of office because it best describes the main function of the office, which is the regulation of the insurance industry.
When dealing with issues related to insurance, many find these issues to be complex and at times need to seek assistance. Intuitively, a person seeking information from the government on issues of insurance or issues related to securities, which the State Auditor also regulates, would start their search for assistance by looking up the term “insurance.” However, unless you are aware that the State Auditor regulates the insurance and securities industry you would not make the connection that you would need assistance from the State Auditor.
All Montanans will deal with issues of insurance throughout their lives. Indeed, if we want to drive on the roads of this great state we are required to carry liability insurance. Whether it is vehicle insurance, life insurance, disability insurance, or numerous other lines of insurance available, there is one office in Montana that is in charge of regulation. Let’s make sure that the name of the office is descriptive of what that office does.
More and more time demands are being placed upon us. Anything that could streamline and assist the tasks in our daily lives would be a welcome change. Changing the name from "state auditor" to "insurance commissioner" is one action we can collectively take to simplify Montanans’ lives and make state government more straightforward and understandable.
The PROPONENT argument and rebuttal for this measure were prepared by State Senator Duane Grimes and State Representative Dave Gallik.
The OPPONENT argument and rebuttal for this measure were prepared by State Representative Wayne Stahl.
Changing the name of the State Auditor to the Insurance Commissioner may solve the name recognition problem for citizens with insurance questions and complaints, but citizens with problems and complaints about securities will still be confused. We should not frivolously change the constitution. Amendment C-43 only corrects part of the problem. We must do better.
Vote no on C-43