A legislative committee will decide next week whether to introduce bills in the 2019 Legislature to bolster community services for adults with developmental disabilities.
The Children, Families, Health, and Human Services Interim Committee will review and take public comment on several bill drafts when it meets Sept. 13-14 in Helena. Also at the meeting, members will:
- receive information on how the Department of Public Health and Human Services will use money that is being restored to its budget;
- hear about activities and services related to child abuse and neglect; and
- review the status of the medical marijuana program.
The bill drafts on developmental disabilities services are a result of the study requested through House Joint Resolution 24 during the 2017 legislative session. The proposals, all relating to developmental disabilities services, would:
- require DPHHS to use reliable, validated, and standardized assessment tools to determine the level of support and services a person will need in the community;
- require the executive budget to include an inflationary increase for community providers;
- appropriate money to increase direct-care worker wages in the next two-year budget period;
- require that some community services be reimbursed at a daily, rather than hourly, rate;
- ensure that money appropriated for community services is used only for those services, including for a new grant program that would be established by the bill;
- create a crisis response system that provides varying levels of response depending on a person's needs; and
- require DPHHS to consult with providers to identify and revise or eliminate rules, policies, and procedures for the community system that are duplicative or applied inconsistently throughout the state.
The meeting will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Sept. 13 in room 102 of the Capitol in Helena and will continue at 8 a.m. on Sept. 14. For more information about the meeting, including a full agenda and related materials, visit the committee's website or contact Sue O'Connell, committee staff.
Committee Website: http://leg.mt.gov/cfhhs
Committee Staff: firstname.lastname@example.org or 406-444-3597