MTPR

Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services

Crystal Methampetamine, or "meth."
File photo (PD)

Montana lawmakers from both sides of the aisle, along with state agency workers and members of the public convened in Helena Saturday with one big problem to discuss.

"Without question, everyone in here, in this room, every citizen in this state, every resident of my community is affected by methamphetamine."

As lawmakers continue crafting the state’s budget, officials with Montana’s health department say the state’s Medicaid programs need more funds to keep up with caseloads. 

Montana Capitol, Helena.
Mike Albans

As Montana lawmakers look to find ways to trim state spending amid a budget shortfall, officials who oversee the state’s foster care system say they need more money to keep up with their rising workload.

Montana’s Department of Health and Human Services expects the number of kids in foster care to continue growing in coming years, to the point where they’re asking lawmakers to add more than $16 million to their $76 million budget.

Montana Capitol.
William Marcus

As the state faces a budget shortfall, lawmakers in Helena are asking departments across the state to trim their spending. But the judicial branch says its caseloads are increasing, and it needs more funds.

Between 2014 and 2015 the number of cases of child abuse and neglect in district courts rose by 700, according to testimony from court representatives.

Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services
PD

As Montana’s Department of Public Health and Human Services faces a proposed $93 million dollars in budget cuts in the wake of  state revenue shortfalls, the department’s new director says she hopes to maintain efforts to combat Montana’s high suicide rate.

Epidemiologist Karl Milhon says it's never too late to get a flu shot.
James Gathany (PD)

Montana health officials have their fingers crossed that the worst of flu season is behind us.

Montana Capitol, Helena
Mike Albans

Today, a so-called Bill of Rights for kids in foster care and the parents that take care of them got its first hearing in the state legislature. Although guidelines outlining those rights already exist now, they’re just administrative policy and not a part of state law.

Montana Capitol, Helena.
Mike Albans

State lawmakers consider big budget cuts this session, including $93 million in cuts for the Department of Health and Human Services. The Montana Legislature begins preparations for the possible repeal of the Affordable Care Act, and two familiar names are circulating for the special election to fill Ryan Zinke’s congressional seat — Gianforte and Baucus.

Join Sally Mauk, Chuck Johnson, and Rob Saldin now for this episode of  "Capitol Talk."

Gov. Steve Bullock.
Corin Cates-Carney

A month after his reelection, Governor Steve Bullock today announced new people will be running nearly half of his appointed cabinet director positions in his second term.

Bullock announced the exit of six cabinet members during a press conference in the state Capitol today. So far, he’s made picks to fill half the vacancies.

A Helena judge gave Montana medical marijuana dispensaries the OK to start serving more than three patients immediately, in recognition of a ballot initiative that passed November second.
Courtesy Drug Policy Alliance

Medical marijuana advocates won a victory in court today. A Helena judge gave dispensaries the OK to start serving more than three patients immediately, in recognition of a ballot initiative that passed November 8.

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