MTPR

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.

Montana U.S. House candidates Greg Gianforte and Kathleen Williams.
(Williams: Olga Kreimer/MTPR)

Wilderness Study Areas:

During the debate, Congressman Greg Gianforte pushed back at challenger Kathleen Williams’ accusation that he had introduced legislation, without public input, to release more than 700,000 acres lands classified as Wilderness Study Areas.

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. 

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

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.

Rep. Greg Gianforte meets with Montana tech-industry reps in Missoula, August 20, 2018.
Edward O'Brien

High tech executives in Missoula told Congressman Greg Gianforte that finding qualified labor, and the cost of health coverage are among their biggest challenges.

Gianforte invited a handful of representatives from Montana’s growing high-tech industry to meet with him Monday.

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.

Maxine Speier

In Missoula Wednesday, conservationists launched a campaign for an open space bond issue appearing on the November ballot.

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