Following the 2018 midterm elections, MHRN entered the 2019 Montana Legislature with a sense of uncertainty. Our staff had justspent the previous four months battling big tobacco on the I-185 Campaign that would have continued Montana’s Medicaid expansion. While our campaign put up a noble effort, we could not overcome big tobacco’s resources and lost that fight. Despite that defeat, we were ready to continue our work in the Montana State Capitol to ensure the renewal of Medicaid expansion.
On day one, we entered the building ready to make progressive changes at the statewide level. With the help of our many partner organizations, we did just that. On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, we brought 50 people to the Capitol to lobby on LGBTQ+ policies. This push included adding sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression as protected classes to the Montana Human Rights Act, the state’s bedrock civil rights law.