Week 8 Bill Alert: HB 233

Photo of Montana Capitol building.

Bill Alert: HB 233

We expect that HB 233 will be heard on the House Floor this week. HB 233 provides for students with significant disabilities to learn important skills for living independently, working, and supporting themselves as adults. The bill does this by reimbursing school districts who provide educational services to these students after 18, through the age of 20.

  • These services are for 18-year-olds who
    • have not graduated,
    • are receiving special education services from the school district,
    • who are likely to be eligible for adult services for individuals with developmental disabilities, and
    • who have an IEP identifying transition goals that focus on preparation for living and working in the community following graduation.
  • Some students simply need more time to accomplish their goals. The extra two years provided by HB 233 will provide critical life-skills training – learning to live more independently, getting jobs and internships, building self-assurance and self-sufficiency, and home-making training.
  • Many students with significant disability currently “age-out” of high school, finding themselves suddenly home alone, spending months and even years waiting for costly adult services with no prospects for employment or productive activity. The current waiting list for adult developmental disability services is 2300, and the average wait time is 3 years.  Unfortunately, the good work to prepare students with disabilities at school until they are 18 can be lost, given the regression that often occurs when those skills are not consistently supported and taught. 
  • Why do we need this bill? Currently, the successful programs in Montana that provide services to these students are not reimbursed for the services they provide. This bill would not only reimburse these good programs but encourage other school districts to provide these services. HB 233 is not mandatory.

Please contact the following legislators in regard to HB 233:

  • Kenneth Holmland - Ken.holmlund@mtleg.gov
  • Mike Hopkins - Mike.Hopkins@mtleg.gov
  • Llew Jones - Llew.Jones@mtleg.gov
  • Rhonda Knudsen - rhonda.knudsen@mtleg.gov
  • Casey Knudsen - caseyjknudsen@gmail.com
  • Dennis Lenz - Dennis.Lenz@mtleg.gov
  • Denley Loge - Denleylogehd14@gmail.com
  • McKamey - wsgmckamey@gmail.com
  • Bill Mercer - wwmercer406@gmail.com
  • Terry Moore - terry.moore@mtleg.gov
  • Joe Read - joeread2019mt@gmail.com
  • Vince Ricci - ricthriftway@montana.com
  • Lola Sheldon-Gallaway - lola.sheldon-galloway@mtleg.gov
  • Derek Skees - Derek.Skees@mtleg.gov
  • Tom Welch - tom.welch@mtleg.gov
  • Dan Bartel - danbartel2@gmail.com
  • David Bedey - David.Bedey@mtleg.gov
  • Ed Buttrey - ed.buttrey@mtleg.gov
  • Willis Curdy - Willis.Curdy@mtleg.gov
  • Geraldine Custer - jericuster@yahoo.com
  • Julie Dooling - julie.dooling@mtleg.gov
  • Ross Fitzgerald - rhfitz@3rivers.net
  • Frank Fleming - fleminglor5@gmail.com 
  • John Fuller - John.Fuller@mtleg.gov
  • Wylie Galt - wyliegaltformt@gmail.com
  • Frank Garner - frankgarnerhd7@gmail.com 
  • Sharon Greef - Sharon.greef@mtleg.gov
  • Steve Gunderson - steve.gunderson@mtleg.gov
  • Brad Tschida - brad.tschida@mtleg.gov
  • Barry Usher - barry.usher@mtleg.gov
  • Sue Vinton - sue.vinton@mtleg.gov

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 


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


If you have accessibility needs and would like to receive the newsletter in another format, please contact Disability Rights Montana at advocate@disabilityrightsmt.org or call 800-245-4743.


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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