MTPR

Beth Brenneman

The Montana SOS Office is holding a certification event for the ExpressVote voting system Tue, Aug 28, in Helena. The device is designed to help people with disabilities vote, but local election officials will urge everyone to use them in coming elections
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

The Montana Secretary of State’s office plans to sign-off on a new touchscreen voting system designed for voters with disabilities that could be used at county polling sites as early as this November.

The ExpressVote system resembles a touchscreen desktop computer or ATM. Voters insert a ballot, scroll through pages of candidates or initiatives and make their picks, and then hit print.

Bill Would Let Drug-Addicted Pregnant Women Get Treatment Without Prosecution

Feb 4, 2019
A baby clutches a parent's finger. Stock photo.
(PD)

Drug-addicted pregnant women could seek addiction treatment without the fear of prosecution or having their child taken away under a proposed bill in the Legislature.

Caregiver. File photo.
iStock

The Montana health department is proposing a $1-per-hour wage increase for direct-care workers for disability services. It’s part of Governor Steve Bullock’s plan to restore budget cuts enacted over the last two years. But not all the money that was cut is getting put back.

Office of the governor, budget and program planning.
William Marcus

Budgets within Montana’s state health department and office of public defender are busted.

Lawmakers in the Legislative Finance Committee Wednesday debated a proposal from Governor Steve Bullock to borrow more than $23 million from next year’s budget to pay for the state’s current financial troubles.

Vicki LaFond-Smith, mother of two sons with disabilities, Beth Brennaman, staff attorney with Disability Rights Montana, and Jackie Mohler, staff at Family Outreach at a Helena, MT press conference on Health Department Funding,  Monday, February 26, 2018.
Corin

A group of disability rights advocates are calling on Governor Steve Bullock to immediately backfill some of the more than $49 million in cuts to the state health department made during the special legislative session last year. But, the governor’s office says it doesn’t have the power to do that.

Montana lawmakers are saying the state health department is making deeper than authorized cuts to rates doctors get paid via Medicaid.

Members of the Children, Families Health and Human Services Interim Committee said Wednesday that state lawmakers only authorized a one percent cut to health care provider pay when they passed a triggered budget-cutting law this spring.

Morphine pills.
Eric Norris (CC-BY-2) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Lawmakers will study prisoner solitary confinement and meth and opioid abuse during the legislative interim as they begin to shape new policy proposals for the 2019 session.

Nurses across Montana campaign to prevent workplace violence for healthcare workers and emergency responders.
Courtesy

For nearly two hours this morning, lawmakers in Helena listened to testimony and debated the consequences of a bill that could change the penalties for attacking a healthcare worker. The bill James O’Hara introduced to the House Judiciary committee is 28 lines long, less than a page.  

Rep. Jenny Eck (D) HD79.
Montana Legislature

A Democratic lawmaker wants to put limits on the use of solitary confinement in Montana prisons, but the warden of the men’s prison says it’s the only tool he has for dealing with some prisoners.

Representative Jenny Eck of Helena wants to place limits on how long, and for what reasons, a prisoner can be isolated from other inmates. 

Eck's Bill Would Change Oversight At Warm Springs

Jan 14, 2015
State of Montana

The Montana State Hospital, the state’s only public psychiatric facility, is coming under fire for the way it handles complaints of abuse or neglect. The best known case occurred five years ago, when the state paid $375,000 to settle a complaint by the family of a female patient raped by a convicted sex offender. Democratic lawmaker Jenny Eck of Helena wants the state Department of Justice to handle complaints about the mistreatment of patients