Montana’s November ballot will include more than the hotly contested races for U.S. House and Senate, as voters will weigh in on proposals to increase tobacco taxes and create new water standards for hard-rock mines. Secretary of State Corey Stapleton’s office announced Wednesday that Initiatives 185 and 186 both received enough voter signatures to qualify for the ballot. I-185 would increase the state tax on cigarettes to $3.70 a pack. It would also raise taxes on nicotine delivery products, including snuff, vaping and e-cigarettes. Up to $26 million in revenues would be earmarked for extending Montana’s Medicaid expansion, which is currently scheduled to expire next year. I-186 would require Montana’s DEQ to deny permits for any new hard-rock mines if reclamation plan requires “perpetual treatment” of water affected by acidic drainage or other runoff. Get more at

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