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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Gov Bullock Campaigns For Tobacco Tax Initiative In Whitefish

Nicky Ouellet
Governor Steve Bullock joined healthcare providers at North Valley Hospital in support of Initiative 185, October 15, 2018 in Whitefish, MT.

Governor Steve Bullock was in Whitefish Monday stumping for a ballot initiative to fund Medicaid expansion through increased tobacco taxes.

Standing in front of an array of candy-flavored vaporizers at North Valley Hospital, Bullock and a handful of healthcare professionals and a public school superintendent called Initiative 185 a “win-win” for ensuring Montanans have healthcare and reducing health impacts of tobacco products, especially among youth.

“There is no unfunded mandate that occurs as a result of this. The money coming from this will actually go directly to help cover the state part of covering 100,000 Montanans with healthcare,” Bullock said.

A 'no on I-185'" sign at a Missoula gas station.
Credit Josh Burnham
A 'no on I-185' sign at a Missoula gas station.

Republican legislators sent Bullock a letter earlier this month asking him to pursue setting a work requirement for able-bodied adults and strengthening workforce training requirements.

Bullock said those changes would need a legislative process but said he’s willing work with them to find solutions. Montanans will vote on Initiative 185 in the upcoming November 6 midterm election.

Nicky is MTPR's Flathead-area reporter.
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