64th Montana Legislative Session
~ Building a Brighter Future ~
The 2015 Montana Legislative Session is scheduled to kick off on Jan. 5 and with the new session comes the opportunity for Montana’s Centers for Independent Living to work toward building a brighter future for all Montanans with disabilities.
During this Legislative session, Joel Peden will once again be working in Helena as the statewide lobbyist for the Montana Centers for Independent Living. This session looks to be a busy one as we strive to maintain the successes we achieved during the 2013 session and build upon those successes to ensure that the services offered by the State of Montana adequately meet the needs of Montanans with disabilities.
Montana’s Centers for Independent Living have been working tirelessly over the past two years collecting information from people with disabilities all across the state and using that information to develop policy priorities for this Legislative Session. You can read our legislative priorities on page 2.
Be assured, we will do everything within our power to improve services and ensure that the voices of Montanans with disabilities is heard, but we cannot do this alone.
We ask that you join with us to let your voices be heard about the importance of services you received and what the impact would be if you were to lose them.
There will be numerous opportunities for you to contact legislators in regards to various bills and funding decisions that they will be voting on. Please join our Montana Independent Living Action Alert Listserv to get involved!
Montana Independent Living Action Alert Listserv
If you are interested in following our work at the session and learning of opportunities to contact legislators when important issues arise, please subscribe to the Montana Independent Living Action Alert email listerv by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also follow action alerts on Twitter by following @SummitILC or on our website at http://www.summitilc.org/actionalert.html.
2015 MTCIL Legislative Day
The Statewide Independent Living Council and Montana’s four Centers for Independent Living: Summit, NCILS, MILP, and LIFTT, are sponsoring a legislative day at the Capitol Building in Helena during the Legislative session on Wednesday, January 28, 2015.
The day’s activities will include a morning workshop on the legislative process and current bills of concern to and priorities for people with disabilities, followed by a potato bar luncheon with legislators in the rotunda of the Capitol at noon.
If you are interested in being involved in the legislative process and being an advocate for people with disabilities, this may be an excellent opportunity to observe the session and talk with your representatives first‐hand.
If you are interested in attending Legislative Day in January, please contact the Independent Living Center that serves your community for more information.
Montana Centers for Independent Living 2015 Legislative Priorities
Establish a grant-based funding program to increase playground accessibility statewide so children with and without disabilities may play together in an inclusive environment
Establish ongoing funding for the Montana Youth Transitions Project Funding to improve transition outcomes for youth leaving high school and entering adulthood
Increase funding for the Montana Youth Leadership Forum to better cultivate leadership, citizenship, and social skills among youth with disabilities so that they have the tools to lead successful lives
Rebase the Senior and Long-Term Care Home and Community-Based Waiver program budget so all waiver slots are fully funded
Increase the Medically Needy Medicaid spend down threshold to make it more equitable for SSDI recipients to qualify for Medicaid
Increase funding to Montana’s four Centers for Independent Living in order to meet the growing demand for independent living services
Continue funding for the Money Follows the Person Housing Bridge program to ensure successful transitions of people living in institutions into the community
In addition to the priorities listed above, we will also be following the budget bill (HB 2) very closely as well as watching for other legislation that may impact the lives of Montanans with disabilities. To follow our legislative progress, please visit http://www.summitilc.org/mtcil.html.
Montana Centers for Independent Living New Logo
Living Independently for Today and Tomorrow, Montana Independent Living Project, North Central Independent Living Services, and Summit Independent Living Center work together on state and national issues under the title Montana Centers for Independent Living. We use this collective title to show our solidarity in working together to improve the independence of all Montanans with disabilities.
Montana Centers for Independent Living serve as a strong voice on a wide range of national, state and local issues and work to assure physical, attitudinal, and programmatic access to housing, employment, transportation, communities, recreation, and health and social services.
The Montana Centers for Independent Living recently took on a new look with the redesign by Tyler Stosich with C3 Graphics.