What's Happening in the Legislature?

January 11, 2021

Photo of Montana Capitol building.

Big Day on Wednesday: Guardianship & Big Sky Waiver Bills

At 3:00, both the House Human Services and the Senate Public Health Committees will hear bills that came out of the Children, Families, Health and Human Services Interim Committee.  The House Human Services Committee will hear HB 37, “Clarify requirements for the Medicaid medically needy program.” Click here to read this bill. This bill reverses the current policy that only allows medically needy individuals to pay cash to “spend down” to qualify for Medicaid every month.  It would instead also allow people to deduct medical costs not covered by Medicaid to “spend down.” to qualify for Medicaid.  This is sponsored by Rep. Tom Welch and will be in room 152.

Click here to access contact information for the House Human Services and the Senate Public Health Committees.

Also at 3:00, the Senate Public Health and Safety Committee will hear SB 33, “Require 30-day notice before termination of participation in HCBS waiver program.” Click here to read this bill. This would give a waiver recipient 30 days notice if the department is considering terminating services. It is sponsored by Sen. McNally and will be heard in room 317.

Senate Public Health will also hear SB 43, “Require administrative rulemaking for substantive changes to HCBS programs.” Click here to read this bill. This bill require certain things like limitations and caps on waiver services to be noticed in rule instead of changed in policy without public input.  It is sponsored by Sen. Diane Sands and will also be heard in room 317.

The Senate Public Health Committee will also hear SB 32 “Revise monitoring requirements for guardians of adults.” Click here to read this bill. This bill would require potential guardians to submit a plan for caring for the potential ward at the time the person petitions for that position. The sponsor is Sen. McNally and the hearing is in room 317.  

Click here to access contact information for the Senate Public Health and Safety Committee.


To listen to audio/video streaming of committee hearings, click here.


How to Contact Legislators During the Session 

Online Messaging

Use the online messaging form to message a legislator (click button below). This is one of the quickest and most effective ways of contacting your legislator. 

Phone Call

Regular office hours during the session are 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. to adjournment on Saturdays. Callers may leave messages for legislators or acquire general legislative information by calling the Information Desk at (406) 444-4800. Callers may leave messages for up to 5 individual legislators or 1 legislative committee per call.

Not sure who represents you in the Montana Legislature? Click Here 

Stay Informed

We will be posting an electronic newsletter each Friday during the 2021 legislative session. We will give you information about upcoming budget and general bill hearings, developments for other bills we are following and action alerts when these bills are coming up for votes.  


Do You Have the Assistive Technology You Need to Participate in the 2021 Legislative Session?

Do you have what you need to share your story or voice support of bills that impact the lives of Montanans with disabilities? Borrow equipment from MonTECH for 30-60 days so you'll be prepared to write, call, or testify.

MonTECH houses a wide range of equipment to help you get connected. Borrow iPads, adapted keyboards, hands-free mice, laptops, wearable speakers, headphones, webcams, voice amplifiers, or devices that allow hands-free video calls with motion tracking. Spotty or nonexistent internet? If you’re in range of a cellular tower, borrow a Jetpack Mobile Hotspot and connect up to 15 devices! MonTECH provides free shipping and return shipping anywhere in Montana, and serves any Montanan who has a disability (including learning disabilities). The program is easy to use and does not require medical verification of a disability to borrow this type of equipment. Call or write if you have questions or need help accessing our program: montech@mso.umt.edu, 1-877-243-5511. We look forward to helping ensure you are heard during the 2021 legislative session!


Protection & Advocacy Service Training

We are more than happy to provide training and workshops to others. We welcome nonprofits, clients, workplaces, and more, to reach out to us if you would like for us to present about our services, and how we can provide assistance. Call 406-449-2344 or email Advocate@DisabilityRightsMT.org.


"Advocating for justice is our individual and collective responsibility."

Executive Director,
Disability Rights Montana
Bernie Franks-Ongoy



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Disability Rights Montana protects and advocates for the human, legal, and civil rights of Montanans with disabilities while advancing dignity, equality, and self-determination.

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Disability Rights Montana
1022 Chestnut Street  | Helena, Montana 59601
406-449-2344 | Advocate@DisabilityRightsMT.org

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