Senators Thomas and Jones and Representatives Ehli and Ballance claim that the majority of Republican legislators had voted to be proactive so that, via a special session, they could have offered voters an alternative to I-186. However, it should be noted that the Republicans had the opportunity during the 2017 regular session of the Montana Legislature to proactively resolve the issues addressed by I-186. However, they killed the relevant legislation.
Montana taxpayers should not be responsible for cleaning up the environmental messes that result from mining operations that are permitted without adequate reclamation plans. HB593 would have assured more effective reclamation plans, but the bill was tabled in committee. Moreover, the Republican representatives, including Representatives Ehli and Ballance, voted against the motion to take the bill from the table and debate it on the house floor.
If our representatives are not going to do the job we elect them to do, Montana citizens have a duty to do it for them. We accomplish that work through the citizen initiative process. Vote FOR I-186.