MTPR

Helena Industries

Montana Health Providers Cheer Budget Restorations, But Say Damage Is Done

Jul 26, 2018

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana health service organizations that eliminated staff and services amid state budget cuts cheered Thursday after Gov. Steve Bullock announced that funding will be partially restored, but they say that long-term damage already has been done.

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.

Helena Industries, a non-profit which provides services for hundreds of people in with disabilities is closing, and plans to file for bankruptcy in the wake of state budget cuts to Medicaid programs.

Helena Industries provides job training, work opportunities and case management services for people in Helena, Bozeman, Butte, Great Falls, and Anaconda.

Montana’s state health department is getting ready to take over day-to-day help for 3,000 people with developmental disabilities this spring, after severing contracts with four private contractors.

The department says it had no choice after state lawmakers and the governor cut $49 million out of its budget in November.

Opportunity Resources, Inc.

The state health department is cutting ties at the end of March with private contractors who help people with developmental disabilities.