Montana Alcohol and Drug Treatment Proposal (2010)

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The Montana Alcohol and Drug Treatment Proposal, also known as I-163 or the Montana Comprehensive Alcohol Abuse and Drug Free Plan Act, did not appear on the November 2, 2010 ballot in the state of Montana as an initiated constitutional amendment. The measure was introduced and supported by Supreme Court chief justice Mike McGrath, who proposed it on February 9, 2010.[1]

The proposed measure for the 2010 ballot would have raked in revenue from alcohol sales taxes and would have used it to fund treatment courts, alcohol treatment programs and drug prevention programs. The reason for the proposal, McGrath stated, was the increase of drunk driving related cases that continue to surface around the state.[2] [3]


Campaigning and tactics

  • Jason Miller, campaign manager for the Montana Coalition for Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention, wrote a column in the Great Falls Tribune stating reasons to sign the petition circulating for the ballot. According to Miller in his writing when commenting on I-63, "This creative use of existing tax dollars can ultimately save the state money and lessen the burdens now placed on the state's corrections, law enforcement, treatment and judicial systems. These are programs that have proven to be effective at restoring people to productive members of our communities. People get jobs. They get their kids back. And they quit driving while drunk. The next step is for thousands of Montana voters to sign petitions to qualify I-163 for the November ballot."[3]

Campaign finance


The campaign for the measure, The Montana Coalition for Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention, had received $30,000 in donations as of May 19, 2010. The organizations and individuals that had donated to the campaign follow:[4]

Contributor Amount
Benefis Health Systems $20,000
Montana Troopers Association $5,000
Supreme Court Justice Mike McGrath $5,000

Path to the ballot

If approved by the Montana Secretary of State, the initiative effort must have gathered 48,673 signatures and had to submit them by the June 18, 2010 deadline. However, due to budget concerns in the state, the effort was withdrawn. The measure would have cost the state millions if enacted, according to reports.[5][6]

See also

Additional reading