HELENA — Republican lawmakers failed to get enough support to call a special session to consider referenda to counter two proposed ballot initiatives.
Secretary of State Corey Stapleton said Monday that 45 lawmakers supported the special session that would have started Monday while 71 rejected it. Seventy-six lawmakers would have had to support the call. Thirty-four did not vote.
Sen. Llew Jones of Conrad and others proposed the session to offer referenda opposing two ballot initiatives — one that would prevent the state from permitting mines whose cleanup plans included the perpetual treatment of polluted water and another that would extend Montana's Medicaid expansion program beyond 2019 and raise the state's tobacco tax to pay for it.
Jones argued the mining initiative would kill future mining. And he wanted voters to consider requiring able-bodied Medicaid recipients to work.