MM Curator summary
A proposed policy in MT would put 8% of the pot tax into a special fund for tribal healthcare and other services.
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MONTANA – Representative Jonathan Windy Boy’s HB 621 in the state legislature aims to give more money to tribal governments, courtesy of recreation marijuana sales taxes.
The bill plans to take just over 8% of recreational marijuana tax revenue and put it into a new account so tribal governments would have more money available for assistance programs.
“Establishing a state special revenue account, provide a portion, distribution grants to tribal governments for public purposes – with the Indian Health Service and the BIA, funding on the federal level is anywhere between 50 to 60 percent of the total unmet need,” Windy Boy said.
If passed, HB 621 would give 8.4% of recreational marijuana tax revenue to a new revenue sharing account. Once there, the department of revenue could then give tribal governments grants for things like substance abuse, fire and police protection and disaster-related expenses.
“There is a portion here that does assist law enforcement, so it’s kind of a catch-all situation with what’s being offered,” Windy Boy said.
It’s estimated that over $380,000 could go into the account starting in 2022, if the bill is passed; something tribes would like to see after cuts were made to healthcare in another bill.
“A lot of the Medicaid and Medicaid expansion has been eliminated from House Bill two,” Windy Boy said.
He thinks tribes didn’t get enough of the stimulus money that was given out in 2009, and that’s a big reason why he brought forth this bill.
“The tribes only got two million of that. So I want to get ahead of the curve here, and wanted to make this equal distribution,” Windy Boy said.