MTPR

tobacco

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.

A unanimous Montana Supreme Court has rejected a tobacco industry-funded group's request to rewrite the ballot statement of a citizen's initiative to raise the state's tobacco taxes.

The opinion by Chief Justice Mike McGrath Wednesday says the statement written by the attorney general's office meets legal standards and will appear as is before voters in November.

Montana Capitol in Helena.
William Marcus

Republican state lawmakers are debating whether to call a special session of the Montana Legislature this July.

Republicans hold enough seats in the state Legislature to call a special session without any support from Democrats. But to do so, they need at least 76 of their 90 plus members in the Legislature to agree to it.

Kristin Page-Nei, one of the authors of I-185, speaks in support of the initiative in Helena, April 19, 2018. The ballot initiative proposes increasing tobacco taxes to raise money for health care programs, including Medicaid expansion.
Corin-Cates Carney

Montana’s Medicaid expansion program, which provides more than 93,000 people in the state health coverage, expires in just over a year. Campaigns are now underway to stop that from happening and to lobby support for the health care program.

A ballot initiative group hoping to generate new state revenue to fund Medicaid expansion services has been approved to start gathering signatures for an initiative raising taxes on tobacco and e-cigarettes.
(PD)

A ballot initiative group hoping to generate new state revenue to fund Medicaid expansion services has been approved to start gathering signatures for an initiative raising taxes on tobacco and e-cigarettes.

Pages