2017 MT Legislature

Jackie Yamanaka

In this week’s, Capitol Connections the topic is the federal Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare. U.S. Senator Jon Tester said Monday in an address to the Montana House that repeal is imminent, but a replacement isn’t ready.


Jackie Yamanaka

Local government officials said the state is unfairly shifting the cost of housing the state’s prisoners to their taxpayers.  They are asking lawmakers to restore the payments to the actual costs

The root of the problem, said Flathead County Sheriff Chuck Curry is the sheer number of state inmates.


Jackie Yamanaka

The House Judiciary Committee gave unanimous approval to a bill aimed at helping law enforcement officials and others help individuals who are suffering from a behavioral health crisis. House Bill 237 seeks to get people help rather than a jail cell.

Sheriffs and law enforcement officers from across Montana lined up to speak in support of House Bill 237’s goal of creating local Crisis Intervention Teams, or CITs, and expanding the training.

Jackie Yamanaka

The Montana Senate gave preliminary approval to a bill that seeks to give judges and prosecutors more discretion in sentencing cases that involve sexual relations between teenagers.


Jackie Yamanaka

There was a bit of déjà vu surrounding a bill that seeks to use coal tax money to pay for crumbling public works and state buildings.

“I think the bill is familiar to many of us,” said Dan Villa, Governor Steve Bullock’s budget director.

It’s a reference to the failed Senate Bill 353 from the 2015 session. SB 353, sponsored by Republican Senator Rick Ripley, used “create Build Montana program” in its title.

Jackie Yamanaka

U.S. Senator Jon Tester said repeal of the federal Affordable Care Act appears imminent.

Tester was invited to speak today before the Montana House of Representatives. Tester said there’s an incredible opportunity to find a bipartisan solution that can make healthcare affordable for middle class families.


Legislative Services

Clarification and correction:  Jake Troyer of the Montana Department of Labor and Industry clarified the pilot audit as part of the HELP Act identified fraud instances in the Unemployment Insurance Program.

Montana identified over $830,000 in Medicaid payments that went out to people who don’t deserve the federal-state healthcare program aimed at helping the working poor.  

Montana’s Medicaid expansion program, known as the HELP Act, was passed by the 2015 Montana Legislature and signed into law. It contained a provision to tackle waste, fraud and abuse.


Jackie Yamanaka

By MICHAEL SIEBERT

Community News Service

University of Montana School of Journalism

Budget subcommittees proposed further cuts to Gov. Steve Bullock’s budget throughout the second week of the Montana Legislature.

“If we can get through the budget and balance it, that will be probably all we can do,” said Rep. Nancy Ballance, R-Hamilton.

Montana Lawmakers Weigh Privacy in the Digital Age

Jan 16, 2017
Jackie Yamanaka

By MICHAEL SIEBERT

Community News Service

University of Montana School of Journalism

Section 10 of Montana’s Constitution states that “the right of individual privacy is essential to the well-being of a free society and shall not be infringed without the showing of a compelling state interest.”

 

Jackie Yamanaka

In principal, the main bill that funds road, water, and other infrastructure projects continues to have broad support.

“We do fully support the notion of increased funding at that local level for critical infrastructure, like roads, bridges, water and sewer and the use of bonding in supporting that infrastructure,” said Darryl James of the Montana Infrastructure Coalition.


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