MTPR

Medicaid expansion

Dr. Pam Cutler, President of Western Montana Clinic, at Wednesday's rally in support of I-185.
Edward O'Brien / MTPR

Opponents of the ballot initiative to raise Montana’s tobacco tax dumped more than $3.5 million into their campaign in September - raising their spending total to more than $12 million.

Ads from Montanans Against Tax Hikes and Healthy Montana about I-185.
Montana Public Radio


I-185, the state ballot measure that would raise tobacco taxes in order to continue Montana’s Medicaid expansion, has state lawmakers from both parties concerned. 

Governor Steve Bullock speaks at a Montana Association of Counties meeting in Missoula, September 19, 2018.
Edward O'Brien / MTPR

Governor Steve Bullock told county government leaders Wednesday that a ballot initiative to increase Montana’s tobacco tax is the right thing to do for basic health-related reasons.

On Wednesday, Bullock warned a Montana Association of Counties meeting in Missoula of dire consequences if voters don’t approve Initiative-185.


The latest fundraising reports show that opponents of the ballot initiative proposing increasing Montana’s tobacco tax boosted contributions by $7.7 million in August. That’s nearly eight times what the campaign supporting the ballot issue raised in the same period.

Groups in support of I-185 held a press conference across from the Capitol in Helena Wednesday, August 22, 2018.
Corin Cates-Carney

A fight backed by hospitals and tobacco companies over an initiative that will appear on Montana ballots this November has amassed more than $2 million. 

Ballot Initiative 185 asks voters to raise taxes on all tobacco products, and for the first time tax e-cigarettes and vaping products, to fund health programs, including the state’s Medicaid expansion.

Pages