Montana Public Radio

Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services

On June 24, assisted living businesses and workers asked the Montana Legislature to increase payments for day-to-day services for seniors and people with disabilities.
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Businesses that care for the elderly, poor and disabled say they’re struggling to make ends meet on what the state pays for housing and assisted living services.

Much of that funding is via Medicaid, and on Thursday, assisted living businesses and workers asked the Montana Legislature to increase payments for day-to-day services for seniors and people with disabilities.

Proposed E-Cig Tax Draws Opposition

Jan 22, 2019
Senate Bill 96 proposes a 50-percent tax on vaping products.
iStock

HELENA — Opponents are lining up against a proposed 50-percent tax on vaping products.

Twelve people testified against Senate Bill 96 on Tuesday. They argued e-cigarettes have nicotine, but they don’t have tobacco and shouldn’t be taxed like tobacco. Robert Story, executive director of the Montana Taxpayers Association, said taxing vapes is just putting a sales tax onto a specific retail item.

'Capitol Talk' is MTPR's weekly legislative analysis program.
Montana Public Radio

This week at the Capitol: There's new momentum this legislative session to end Montana's statute of limitations in child sex abuse cases; Gov. Bullock remains vague about his political aspirations; the U.S. Supreme Court leaves Montana's campaign contribution limits in place; direct care workers may get a raise; and rallies to focus attention on missing and murdered Indigenous women coincide with possible legislative action. Learn more now on Capitol Talk with Sally Mauk, Rob Saldin and Holly Michels.

Bills Would Bolster Suicide Prevention Programs In Montana Schools

Jan 18, 2019
Rep. Mary Ann Dunwell (D) - HD84
Montana Legislature

HELENA — Two new bills in the Montana Legislature aim to address suicide prevention for Montana’s youth.

Rep. Mary Ann Dunwell, D-Helena, is sponsoring House Bills 186 and 187, which would offer $2.5 million in grants to schools for mental health screening and suicide prevention training. Dunwell said the request for state funding might bring some resistance from lawmakers, but the programs are necessary to continue to prevent suicide.

A woman grocery shopping.
iStock

Montana is issuing February’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program payments a couple of weeks early due to the ongoing partial government shutdown.

The state Department of Public Health and Human Services typically issues SNAP benefits to 117,000 recipients during the first week of every month.

Flu shot. File photo.
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A total of 145 new cases of influenza were reported during the first week of the new year, according to the most recent data from the Montana Health Department.

Stacey Anderson, the agency’s vaccine preventable disease epidemiologist, describes these cases as the 'tip of the iceberg'.

Butte residents gathered at a Superfund health study meeting to discuss a range of health concerns with agency officials and health department staff. October 30, 2018.
Nora Saks / Montana Public Radio

A new analysis by the state health department says that the rate of new cancer diagnoses in Silver Bow County is about the same as the rest of Montana.

But at a council of commissioners meeting Wednesday night in Butte, state cancer epidemiologist Heather Zimmerman said that's not the case for cancer mortalities.

Flu shot. File photo.
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MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — Montana health officials say a Missoula County child has become the first person to die of an influenza-related illness in the state this season.

Department of Public Health and Human Services officials said in a statement Monday there aren't many flu cases in Montana right now, but the number is expected to increase in the coming weeks.

The rising number of children entering Montana’s foster care system appears to be slowing after years of sharp increases that burdened the state justice system and the caseload of health department workers.

According to the Department of Public Health and Human Services, the increase in the number of kids in foster care is stabilizing after doubling over the last decade.

Romaine lettuce.
iStock

Romaine lettuce is not safe to eat. The warning comes from public health officials investigating an E. coli outbreak in several states. Although no cases have been reported in Montana, the Department of Public Health and Human Services still says to avoid all forms of romaine.

Thirty-two cases of infections from a dangerous type of E. coli bacteria in 11 states have been linked to romaine lettuce. 

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