Financial disclosures indicate tobacco companies bankrolling the campaign to stop Initiative 185– which would raise tobacco taxes to help fund Medicaid in Montana– have spent another $5 million on the campaign. Meanwhile, supporters of the initiative led by Montana hospitals, added nearly $3 million in the past three weeks, bringing the total fundraising and spending on the ballot-measure fight to just over $25 million – the second-most expensive campaign in the state this year. Initiative 186, which would impose new regulations on hard-rock mines – saw about $3 million raised by both sides in the past three weeks. I-185 would raise state taxes on cigarettes by $2 a pack and on other tobacco products by 67 percent, making permanent Montana’s Medicaid expansion program, which provides government-funded health coverage to nearly 100,000 low-income Montana adults. Get more online at

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