Montana Public Radio

Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services

Alcohol, drug and suicide (combined) deaths per 100,000 people in 2017.
National Center for Health Statistics, CDC

Montana’s state health department has received a $2.1 million grant for a game for school kids. Zoe Barnard with the department explains.

Pertussis cases by Montana county, 05-05-19
Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services

There are more than 170 reported cases of whooping cough in Montana. State health officials say local outbreaks in parts of western Montana are driving the recent uptick.

The Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) reports recent outbreaks of whooping cough in Missoula, Flathead and Lake counties.

Montana Behavioral Health Alliance Executive Director Mary Windecker testifies at a state health department listening session in Helena August 1, 2018.
Eric Whitney / Montana Public Radio

Montana’s remaining addiction and mental health care providers had a lot riding on the 2019 Legislature. And they walked away from the session cautiously optimistic that they’ll soon be able to rebound from recent tough times. Almost two years ago the state health department was forced to cut almost $50 million to help balance the state budget.

State Budget Bill Is Flying Through The Legislature

Apr 9, 2019
Sen. Jon Sesso, D-Butte, speaks on the Montana Senate floor. Sesso serves as Senate Minority Leader.
Shaylee Ragar / UM Legislative News Service

HELENA -- Montana’s budget will return to the House of Representatives after it was amended in the Senate last week and passed 28-21 Monday.

Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Carl Glimm, a Republican from Kila, says it’s typical for the Senate to tweak House Bill 2, the legislation that outlines the state’s $10.3 billion, two-year budget.

Montana Legislature Senate chamber.
Nick Mott / Montana Public Radio

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A Montana Senate committee voted Thursday to give additional funding to schools and the public defender's office while restoring some money to the state Department of Revenue to better serve taxpayers and collect revenue.

Drinking fountain.
Joseph Thomas Photography / iStock

Montana got a failing grade from a national environmental study group Thursday for its lack of policies addressing lead in public schools. 

The second edition of Environment America’s "Get the Lead Out" report, says Montana also received an "F" last time the organization surveyed a number of states, in 2017.

Bill Aims To Protect Pregnant Women Seeking Addiction Treatment

Mar 19, 2019
Sen. Diane Sands, D-Missoula, is carrying Senate Bill 289, and says pregnant women are less likely to to seek treatment for addiction if there is a “threat of being charged with drug possession.”
Shaylee Ragar / UM Legislative News Service


In 2017, the state Department of Public Health and Human Services reported that approximately 100 babies every year experience drug withdrawal in Montana.

Now, in an effort to lower that number, lawmakers are considering a bill to help pregnant women with addictions.

Tonight on Capitol Talk: State lawmakers are buckling-down on a number of issues, including increased oversight of non-profit schools for troubled teens; what infrastructure projects to support or reject; what to cut or support in the health department; and whether ratepayers should bear the burden of keeping Colstrip's coal plant going.

Learn more now on Capitol Talk.

Montana Senate Endorses Moving Oversight Of Youth Programs

Mar 12, 2019
Montana State Capitol.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The Montana Senate has endorsed a bill to give the state health department oversight of private residential programs for troubled children.

Tuesday's 34-15 vote comes after a series by the Missoulian that found multiple problems with programs for children dealing with emotional and behavioral problems.

Montana Capitol, Helena, MT.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

A roughly $10 billion state budget passed out of the Montana House Appropriations Committee Monday afternoon. Lawmakers are pushing forward with a smaller state spending plan than the one offered by Gov. Steve Bullock back in November.

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