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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

MDC Patients Continue Transition To Community-Based Care

More Montanans with developmental disabilities will be moving into community-based care under a plan approved today in Boulder.

The legislature last year ordered theclosure of the Montana Developmental Center by June of next year, amid reports of patient abuse and neglect.

State budget director Dan Villa chairs an advisory council charged with determining the future of MDC and its 50 patients. Among other services, he says more state operated group homes will be offered throughout Montana.

“So that private providers, if they get into a crisis situation — or if family members choose to continue to opt for state of Montana services that would no longer be provided for at MDC — we would have those facilities available in the communities across the state rather than in one particular location in an institution.”

The transition to community-based services is expected to cost $13.7 million in state general fund money.

The advisory council also voted to keep 12 secure beds available in Boulder for particularly violent or difficult patients.

It also proposed Boulder receive $500,000 in state redevelopment funds after MDC closes. The center employs about 250 people.

The legislature will consider that appropriation when it convenes next year.

Edward O’Brien first landed at Montana Public Radio three decades ago as a news intern while attending the UM School of Journalism. He covers a wide range of stories from around the state.  
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