NEA Gives $528,000 to Defeat Montana Brain-Disease Ballot Initiative

By Daarel Burnette II — October 28, 2016 1 min read
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The National Education Association this week funneled through its local affiliate a last-minute, $528,000 campaign contribution to defeat an obscure ballot measure in Montana that, if passed, would fund research into treatment for brain injuries and illnesses, according to the Associated Press.

The $528,000 contribution toward the anti-Initiative 181 ballot committee known as Montanans for Fiscal Responsibility came just two weeks before election day. The campaign for the ballot measure has only raised $600, according to the AP.

If the measure passes, on Nov. 8, the state would issue $200 million in bonds over the next decade to research therapies and cures for brain diseases, brain injuries, and mental illnesses. Proponents of the measure say it would benefit Montana’s aging population and lead to potential cures for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

The union opposes the measure, saying it could jeopardize future funding for state government programs such as building new school buildings. It also says taxpayers wouldn’t have much say over how the money is spent.

The money will be spent on TV ads and mail flyers.

A version of this news article first appeared in the State EdWatch blog.