Legislators Being Polled to Consider Second 2018 Special Session
There are two initiatives proposed for the November ballot that are prompting state legislative leaders to poll their fellow members for a possible special session proposed for July.
State Senate Majority Leader Fred Thomas of Stevensville said on Thursday the initiatives deal with mining and with Medicaid expansion.
“One has to do with mining and water and would effectively close down mining forever in Montana, along with all the revenue we give to the state that funds our schools, programs for disabled people and eliminates potentially another 20,000 jobs,” said Thomas. “There’s another initiative to raise the tobacco tax and to pull the sunset on the Medicaid expansion. What we’re thinking there is that it would be a good time to get on the ballot and have people approve requiring a work program for people who are able bodied, childless and between the ages of 19 and 64, so that if you’re going to be on Medicaid, you must work or be doing public service in the community.”
Thomas said there would be more requirements attached to the Medicaid expansion.
“There should be an asset test in that program so that you can’t be wealthy and put your money in an LLC and still be in a public benefit called Medicaid.”
Thomas said more than the necessary 10 legislators agreed that the entire body be polled as to whether a special session should be called.
“The legislature will now be polled and we will send our ballots back in voting yes or no,” he said. “We have another 10 days to get that done. The session would be held on the 16th of July and it would be very timely, brief and short.”
The legislature has already had a special session in January to hammer out problems with the state’s budget. Most recently, there were two special sessions in 2002 and in 2007.