Lawmakers consider special session on initiatives

HELENA (AP) — Republican lawmakers concerned about two proposed Montana voter initiatives are gauging whether they have the 76 of 150 votes needed to convene a special session next month.

Sen. Llew Jones of Conrad tells Montana Public Radio the session would address the initiatives that some lawmakers believe are one-sided.

One would require mines to have cleanup plans that don’t include the perpetual treatment of polluted water. The other would extend Montana’s Medicaid expansion program beyond 2019 and raise the state’s tobacco tax to pay for it.

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

Jones says the mining proposal would kill future mining in the state. He wants to place a legislative referendum before voters to require able-bodied Medicaid recipients to work if they receive health benefits.

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