The 63rd session of the Montana Legislature adjourned Sine Die, without a scheduled future meeting, on April 24. Legislators took good and bad actions on issues of importance to Montana’s Centers for Independent Living (MTCILs) and Montanans with Disabilities. MTCILs, working with many other organizations that represent Montana’s disability and aging populations, made a number of key advancements during the 2013 Montana Legislative Session. MTCILs entered the 2013 Legislative Session with six priorities. Those priorities were to obtain: renewed funding for the Montana Youth Transitions project, legislative approval to pursue the Community First Choice Option, renewed funding for Personal Assistance meal preparation services, an increase in funding for Medicaid Provider Rates, an increase in funding for the Health Care for Health Care Workers program, and Legislative spending authority for Money Follows the Person.
All of our goals heading into the session were achieved. We were able to secure a commitment from the Governor’s office to fund the Montana Youth Transitions project using existing funds and the Legislature approved the rest of our goals in HB 2, the state budget bill. During the session we were also able to get funding for a Money Follows the Person Housing Bridge program and additional funding for the senior and physical disability Home and Community Based Medicaid Waiver program.
If you are interested in seeing the different bills affecting the lives of individuals with disabilities that we addressed during the 2013 Legislative Session, complete with their outcomes, please visit: www.summitilc.org/mtcil.html.