Montana Public Radio

I-185

Nearly 23 percent of Montana high school students use electronic cigarette type products, according to the most recent Youth Risk Behavior Survey from the Montana Office of Public Instruction.
(PD)

Montana’s health department issued a warning Thursday about a popular electronic cigarette they fear is addicting a new generation to nicotine.

The warning comes just five days before Montana voters will decide whether or not to tax e-cigarettes in the state for the first time.

Anti-I-185 advertising has included a heavy presence at Montana convenience stores
Eric Whitney

Spending in the campaigns for and against I-185 has made it the most expensive ballot measure race in Montana history.

The ballot initiative to raise tobacco taxes and continue Medicaid expansion has drawn more than $17 million in spending from tobacco companies. Most has come from cigarette maker Altria, and it’s more than the company has ever spent on any proposed ballot measure nationwide. That’s according to records from the National Center for Money in Politics dating back to 2004.

Polls show undecided voters may tip the balance in Montana's House and Senate races; how two ballot issues are attracting a lot of outside money and attention; new ads range from ominous to humorous; and a national Republican group sends out a mailer with erroneous voter information. Listen in now on "Campaign Beat," MTPR's weekly political analysis program.

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

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A tobacco company has dumped nearly $5 million more into the campaign to defeat a Montana ballot initiative in the final weeks before the Nov. 6 election.

On Thursday the head of Montana’s health department will speak publicly about recent deep budget cuts. She’ll be on a panel with state lawmakers that a progressive political group in Helena is hosting. 

Nicky Ouellet

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

Sally Mauk: Welcome to 'Campaign Beat,' our weekly political analysis program. I'm Sally Mauk and I'm joined by University of Montana Political Science Professor Rob Saldin and veteran Capitol Reporter Chuck Johnson.

Mistakes In Montana Voter Guide Cost $265,000

Oct 12, 2018
An image of part of the email from Montana's Secretary of State office announcing errors in the state Voter Information Pamphlet
Montana Secretary of State's office

The official Montana voter information pamphlet many voters have received contains formatting errors. An addendum correcting them has now been mailed out at a total cost of more than $265,000.

In an email yesterday, Montana Secretary of State Corey Stapleton announced that the one page addendum was being mailed.

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

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