Montana Lawmakers to Vote on Special Session

Special session would be held next month to address Republican concerns over ballot initiatives

By Molly Priddy

HELENA — Secretary of State Corey Stapleton is preparing ballots to poll Montana lawmakers about holding special session next month to address Republican concerns over two ballot initiatives.

One initiative wouldn’t allow mines to be permitted if their cleanup plans required the perpetual treatment of polluted water. The other would raise tobacco taxes to extend Montana’s Medicaid expansion program beyond 2019.

Initiative sponsors turned in voter signatures last week, though neither measure has officially qualified for the ballot.

Sen. Llew Jones of Conrad says the mining initiative would kill future mining. And he wants voters to consider a legislative referendum that would require able-bodied Medicaid recipients to work.

Montana Public Radio reports a majority of Montana’s 150 lawmakers would have to turn in “yes” votes by July 15 for a session to be held on July 16.

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