Opposition To State Funded Medical Research On The Ballot
There’s more to this year’s Montana ballots than you think.
A ballot initiative committing Montanans to providing $200 million to private medical research is considered by some to be bad medicine for state’s infrastructure. Organized labor and some legislators came out strongly against Initiative 181 on Monday. Supporters are now gathering signatures to qualify for the November election, which would commit Montanans to providing $20 million in bonds each year for 10 years for medical research.
Bonds are also how Montana pays for public infrastructure. And if $20 million is already committed to research, raising bonds for things like community water and sewer projects will be difficult, according to the Montana AFL-CIO. They say I-181 could hinder the Montana Legislature’s ability to put Montana construction workers back to work in good-paying jobs. Montanans for Research and Cures chairman Randy Gray said the group doesn’t intend to squeeze state infrastructure projects.