Montana DPHHS

State Prison
3:20 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

ACLU alleging widespread mistreatment of mentally ill at state prison

  The American Civil Liberties Union of Montana has written a letter to the state alleging widespread mistreatment of mental illness in both the Montana State Prison and state hospital.

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2013 Legislature
1:19 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

MT Developmental Center reorganizing after 10-percent budget cut

The entrance to the Montana Developmental Center grounds in Boulder.
Credit Dan Boyce

The Montana Developmental Center (MDC) in Boulder is trimming about ten percent from its budget following cuts handed down by the state legislature.

The facility provides treatment to people with developmental disabilities whose aggressive behavior has led the courts to determine they pose a risk to themselves or others. Those in charge at MDC say they are working to make the $1.5 million in annual cuts without compromising safety or standard of care.

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Education
11:07 am
Tue August 20, 2013

State expanding early childhood education pilot program

Caregiver Amanda Hatch plays with two-year-old Maya at her day care center Katerpillar Korner in Helena.
Credit Dan Boyce

Governor Steve Bullock is looking to put more focus into early childhood education—that is, education before a kid is five years old. Bullock said Montana ranks near the bottom of states in investment in early ed.

However, state spending did increase this past legislative session by nearly $2 and a half million dollars.

Capitol Reporter Dan Boyce says that money will go toward increasing a ranking program for day-care centers called the Best Beginnings Stars to Quality Program.

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Great Falls
11:02 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Are Great Falls 'smoke shacks' violating the Clean Indoor Air Act?

Marsha Fries smokes while playing keno in the smoke shack of the 'Do Bar' in Great Falls
Dan Boyce

A group of Great Falls health advocates are accusing at least nine bars and casinos in that city of not being in compliance with Montana’s Clean Indoor Air Act.

The law prohibits smoking in public buildings and fully went into effect in 2009.

At issue are so-called ‘smoke shacks’ attached to the casinos. These ventilated rooms allow people to smoke, drink and use gaming machines. Bar owners are open-air vents in the rooms make them technically not indoor, enclosed, spaces.

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Health
3:09 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

DPHHS unveils new state health initiative

DPHHS Director Richard Opper speaking about the Bullock Administration's new health proposal to a meeting of the Montana Association of Public Health Officials.
Credit Dan Boyce

Gov. Steve Bullock announced a new initiative Thursday to improve health outcomes in the state. The plan, called “Big Sky. New Horizons. A Healthier Montana” outlines a series of strategies to address some of the state’s biggest health and safety concerns, like smoking and motor vehicle fatalities.

“When it comes to healthcare, we will, we have and will continue to have grand policy debates about who pays and how much they should pay,” Bullock said, “but what we shouldn’t lose sight of is there’s so much we can do.”

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