Senators have endorsed a House amendment to a bill expanding Medicaid eligibility to about 70,000 low-income Montanans, putting it one vote away from the governor's signature.

Senators gave initial approval by a vote of 29-21 on Friday. If the bill passes third reading it will head to the governor, who is expected to sign it into law.

The vote happened without discussion. The amendment appropriates about $2.1 million to state departments, the bulk of which will go to the Department of Labor and Industry for helping people who enroll find better jobs.

Republican Sen. Ed Buttrey of Great Falls brought the measure in March after the governor's proposal to expand Medicaid failed. He calls it a compromise because it would require enrollees to pay premiums and copays for services.