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.
Secretary of State Corey Stapleton approved the petition for signature gathering Monday. It will take more than 25,000 signatures by June 22 for I-185 to appear on November ballots.
The initiative proposes increasing the total tax on a pack of cigarettes to $3.70, as well as increasing taxes on chew, e-cigarettes and vape products. The ballot initiative supporters say these taxes will generate more than $74 million by 2023, some of which will be directed to pay for Montana’s share of Medicaid expansion.