MTPR

Disability Rights Montana

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.

Gavel.
(PD)

A U.S. appeals court Friday said a Montana judge confused two cases when he mistakenly threw out a lawsuit four years ago alleging that inmates with serious mental illnesses weren't receiving the treatment they need.

U.S. District Judge Sam Haddon of Great Falls threw out the lawsuit in 2015 by Disability Rights Montana that claims mentally ill inmates in Montana State Prison were being subjected to cruel and unusual punishment. 

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.

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.

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.

Voters in Clinton, MT cast ballots during the 2016 elections.
Rebekah Welch

A Republican representative from Kalispell says voters should be required to show a photo ID in order to cast a ballot. Representative Derek Skees introduced his proposal to change Montana’s law during a House Committee meeting today, while opponents argued the bill would make it harder for some people to vote.

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