Montana Legislators Vote Against Holding a Second Special Session
An effort to call for a second special session of the Montana legislature failed this week, July 16. This special session was attempted by mostly Republican legislators, but they ended up with less than 50 votes. Montana State Senator Llew Jones was one of the minority that was pushing for the special session.
"I guess I wasn't totally surprised, we needed to have 76 votes in order to hold a special session and we did not expect any democrat votes as both I-186 and I-185 are Democrat-leaning initiatives... you know, the anti-mining imitative and the medicaid expansion without work requirement," Jones said.
It was those two initiatives that Jones and others were hoping to address before ballots are printed for the November elections.
"I think we should add some additional options to the ballot so that voters don't have to participate in what I call a false choice: the choice between pristine water and mining, when in reality you can have responsible mining and a pristine environment and that the voter if they chose to support medicaid expansion, would have the opportunity to also suggest that able-body individuals would be expected to become self-reliant and return to work and that those with large assets, potentially, would not qualify for the system," Jones said.
According to Jones, even Republican leadership was split on the issue of holding a special session, with some taking what he called a proactive approach by approving a special session, while others wanted to wait and have a reactive approach to those ballot initiatives.