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Secretary of State Linda McCulloch
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Elections & Government Services
P.O. Box 202801
Helena, MT 59620-2801
State Capitol, Room 260
1301 6th Avenue
Helena, MT 59620
(406) 444-4732
Fax (406) 444-2023
Elections & Government Services Deputy
Lisa Kimmet


Argument For I-151

People who work full-time for a living should not have to live in poverty.

The current minimum wage in Montana is $5.15 an hour.
(39-3-409 Montana Code Annotated)

A person working full-time at the minimum wage in Montana will earn wages of $10,712 a year.
($5.15 an hour x 40 hours a week x 52 weeks = $10,712)

An annual wage of $10,712 is 31% less than the federal poverty level for a family of three.
(Congressional Research Service Memorandum – “Historical Relationship Between the Minimum Wage and Poverty, 1959 to 2005”)

Montana’s minimum wage was last raised 10 years ago – in 1996.
(Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996, Public Law 104-188, Signed into Law 8/20/1996)

In 1996 the average price for a gallon of gas in Montana was $1.53 a gallon.
(American Petroleum Institute – “Changes in the Major Components of Gasoline Prices, 1967-2004”)

At today’s gas prices the average person spends $7,967 per year just to drive a car.
(AAA Study – “Your Driving Costs 2006”)

A year of child-care in Montana costs an average of $5,710 for care of a pre-schooler.
(National Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies – “2004-2005 Price of Child Care”)

Since 1996, 23 states have already raised the minimum wage for their workers.
(Associated Press, July 17, 2006 – “Minimum Wage Push Focusing on State Level”)

Over 50% of all Americans live in states that have passed minimum wages higher than Montana’s.
(Economic Policy Institute –“Minimum Wage Issue Guide: FAQs”)

 I-151 would raise the minimum wage in Montana by $1.00 an hour to $6.15 an hour.

Give Montana workers a raise.

It’s fair.

It’s right.

It’s time.

Vote for I-151

This Ballot Argument Submitted by:
Tim Kennedy - Small Business Owner - Mom’s Famous Soup and Salad
Jacquie Helt - President, Montana State AFL-CIO and Executive Officer, UNITE HERE ! Local 427
Steve Bullock, Director, Raise Montana

Opponents' Rebuttal

  • Why did proponents choose not to focus on the most dangerous part of their proposal; the annual inflation factor called the Consumer Price Index?
  • I-151 will impose big city price increases on Montana . The Consumer Price Index is calculated by taking prices from America ’s 87 largest cities. None of those cities are in Montana and none are in three of our surrounding states.
    US Bureau of Statistics
  • Wages in Montana will be determined by an out of state index. Do Montanans really want to be forced into spiraling labor and price hikes?
  • Economic experts, including Alan Greenspan, agree that an increase in the minimum wage results in fewer job opportunities for entry level workers—particularly the least-skilled. Sadly, these are the very individuals that minimum wage increases are supposed to help.
    “Product Market Evidence on the Employment Effects of the Minimum Wage,” Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, 2003
  • A large percentage of Montana’s 5000 minimum wage earners are restaurant servers and are either teenagers living with their working parents, adults living alone, or a married couple -- often with a spouse earning a higher income. The reason people agree to work as a restaurant server is because they can make considerably more than minimum wage with tips. The restaurant industry also provides flexible hours and advancement opportunities.
  • Read the fine print and Vote No on I-151.

The PROPONENT argument and rebuttal for this measure were prepared by Tim Kennedy - Small Business Owner - Mom’s Famous Soup and Salad; Jacquie Helt - President, Montana State AFL-CIO and Executive Officer UNITE HERE ! Local 427; and Steve Bullock, Director, Raise Montana.

 The OPPONENT argument and rebuttal for this measure were prepared by Riley Johnson, Brad Griffin, Merisa Saunders, and Webb Brown.

Voter Information Pamphlet

The information for each proposed ballot issue is the official ballot language written by the Attorney General's office, the text of each ballot issue, and the arguments and rebuttals for and against each ballot issue. The arguments and rebuttals have been prepared by each committee appointed to support each ballot issue and each committee appointed to oppose each ballot issue. The opinions stated in the arguments and rebuttals do not necessarily represent the views of the Secretary of State or the State of Montana. The State also does not guarantee the truth or accuracy of any statement made in the arguments or rebuttals.

Welcome from Montana Secretary of State Brad Johnson

What Is the Voter Information Pamphlet?

Political Parties of Montana

Voting in Montana Elections

What's New for the 2006 Election Season 

Contact Your County Election Office
(Printable .pdf)

Ballot Measure Worksheet
(Printable .pdf)

Ballot Issues

Constitutional Amendments:

Constitutional Initiatives:


If you would like to receive additional copies of the VIP, or would like to receive it in large print, in Braille, on a CD, electronically, online, or in another accessible format, please contact the Secretary of State’s Office at 1-888-884-VOTE (8683), or email

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