Corin Cates-Carney

Corin Cates-Carney is the Flathead Valley reporter for MTPR.

Corin has worked for NPR, and is a UM Journalism School Graduate.

After state health department officials announced they would end all contracts with private companies that help people with developmental disabilities the agency is changing course. Now the department says the department will offer one contract, for the entire state.

There are currently more than 1,300 unfilled jobs in Montana executive branch agencies. It’s still unclear exactly how many of those positions are being kept open as a result of the state’s budget shortfall.

The budget state lawmakers passed last year authorizes more than 13,000 employees in administrative agencies like the state departments of health, corrections and transportation.

We’ve been reporting a lot on the budget cuts Governor Steve Bullock’s administration has been making as a result of a more than $200 million state budget shortfall. The cuts are the result of bills passed in the regular and special legislative sessions in 2017.

Since then political leaders on both sides of the aisle have been distancing themselves from some of the impacts of those decisions.

In a year when news of railroad crashes and train derailments from around the country have jumped into headlines, new data show railroad accidents in Montana are declining at a faster pace than most of the Northwest region.

State lawmakers are considering dissolving the state workers compensation system, or turning it into a private entity.

A public workers compensation insurance fund is written into Montana’s constitution.

State lawmakers say a bill written in the fast-paced special legislative session in November to help patch the state budget shortfall has errors and needs fixing.

During the haste of the special legislative session, a bill that allows the state to sell 54 more liquor licenses didn’t turn out exactly how some people thought it would.

Montana lawmakers are joining the state's congressional delegation in asking the federal government for more information about alleged misconduct by federal food safety inspectors at meat processing businesses.

State lawmakers are concerned that small meat processing businesses are being treated differently than large businesses, among other allegations of misconduct by federal inspectors.

Negotiations between the state and companies that help people with developmental disabilities seem to be at a dead end. This after some lawmakers urged the state health department not to end contracts with the companies due to budget cuts.

The state health department is taking the next step to chip away at $49 million in budget cuts. That’s how much Governor Steve Bullock and state lawmakers told the department it had to reduce expenses at the end November’s special legislative session, in order to balance the state budget after lower than expected tax revenues last year.

The Montana health department faced blistering public comment Thursday on their plan to cut more than $12 million from Medicaid services. Governor Steve Bullock and state lawmakers reduced funding to most state agencies to balance the state’s budget.

The roughly $12 million is part of the Department of Health and Human Services’ continuing work to cut $49 million in spending. That’s more than more than 4.5 percent of its general fund budget.

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