Medicaid Expansion is Good for Montana Businesses

In case you missed it, in January, the Montana Department of Revenue and Department of Labor and Industry jointly released a report, Montana Medicaid and Montana Employers, which details how Medicaid expansion benefits businesses in our state. The findings were clear – businesses of all sizes and sectors across Montana employ workers who are Medicaid expansion enrollees.

It is up to the Legislature to determine if and how Medicaid expansion will continue beyond the June 30, 2019 sunset date. The research shows that Medicaid expansion provides value to the state’s economy that surpasses the cost of running the program. If the legislature fails to continue Medicaid expansion or if harmful provisions are included, then thousands of workers will lose their health coverage and may lose their livelihoods. Since we are an organization dedicated to facts and numbers, we thought we could let the numbers speak for themselves.

Montana Medicaid enrollees who can work, already work

  • 7 out of 10 Montana Medicaid enrollees are already working.
  • 8 out of 10 enrollees live in working families.
  • Over 1 in 3 enrollees who are not employed report being either ill or disabled and the remainder report caring for family, being in school, or had another reason for not working.

Business in every county, in every industry, and of all sizes employ workers who are covered by the program.

  • Nearly 18,000 Montana businesses have employed workers enrolled in Medicaid for their health insurance coverage.
  • 57 percent of businesses statewide have at least one worker insured by the program.
  • Every county had at least 30 percent of their businesses employing Medicaid covered workers.

Even large businesses in Montana rely on Montana Medicaid to provide health insurance for their staff.

  • One quarter of Montana businesses had between 26 percent to 50 percent of employees enrolled.
  • Nearly all large Montana businesses with more than 50 employees have at least one employee enrolled in Medicaid expansion.
  • Although larger businesses are more likely to provide health insurance to some of their employees, they are also more likely to exclude low-wage, part-time, or seasonal workers from their insurance pool.

Small businesses have the highest share (36 percent) of Medicaid workers across all business size classes.

  • 47 percent of all businesses with less than 10 employees have staff enrolled in the program

Businesses in sectors that tend to pay lower wages were more likely to have employees enrolled in the program.

  • 89 percent of employers in the accommodations and food service industry had at least one worker enrolled in Montana Medicaid.
  • Over half of construction firms and 67 percent of retail businesses, including gas stations, had at least one enrolled employee.

Employers benefit from avoided costs with Medicaid expansion.

  • Under federal law, businesses with more than 50 workers must offer health insurance or face a tax penalty, unless those workers are covered by Medicaid.
  • If Montana Medicaid expansion did not exist, businesses would be subject to tax penalties between $11 million and $16.7 million in 2018 for their uninsured workers.
  • If employers had insured all their workers enrolled in Medicaid through private, employer-based health insurance, it would have cost between $353 million and $941 million in 2017 (depending on the type of coverage).

Clearly, the benefits of expanded Medicaid go beyond the individuals who are covered under the program: it gives employers a healthier and more stable workforce and saves businesses the cost of providing private insurance or paying a tax penalty. The majority of Medicaid enrollees work in low-wage jobs, like accommodations, construction, and retail that feature volatile hours. Proposals to take health insurance away from people who do not meet strict work and reporting requirements may make workers eligible for health insurance one month, and an hour short the next, due to a schedule they cannot control. Montana Medicaid has proven to be a successful program, one that benefits working families, employers and the broader economy. The 2019 legislature has all the facts it needs to reauthorize this Montana-made health insurance program in its current form.

Language Immersion Programs Help Student Success In and Out of the Classroom

Yesterday, February 6th, the House Education Committee heard legislation related to Indian language immersion programs in schools.

“Language is vital to our society and well-being,” testified one public school educator.

House Bill 263 would appropriate roughly $50,000 to language immersion programs for each of the fiscal years 2020 through 2023. Language immersion programs are defined as a program wherein all participating students receive content area instruction in a tribal language. The level of instruction intensifies as students progress through the program. School districts eligible for funding are those districts encompassing or adjacent to one of the seven reservations in Montana or those districts with at least 10 percent of American Indian student enrollment.

Rep. Jonathan Windy Boy, the bill’s sponsor, has been a champion of tribal language preservation since he worked to establish the Montana Indian Language Preservation program in 2013. Rep. Windy Boy points to the Montana Constitution’s charge to “uphold the integrity of the culture and the heritage [of American Indians]” and the role his legislation can play in protecting language. In addition to protecting language as a cultural resource, language immersion programming helps students succeed inside and outside of the classroom.

Currently, there are four school districts with Indian language immersion programs, with roughly 65 students participating. They include Browning Elementary, with two half-time programs; Hardin Elementary, with one half-time program; Rocky Boy Elementary, with one half-time program; and Wyola Elementary, with one half-time program. The bill assumes language immersion programs will benefit 95 students moving forward. With $50,000 in annual funding, programming costs amount to roughly $500 per student, a worthwhile investment to promote student success.

In just its first few months, the Browning Elementary program showed results. Students in the immersion program were outperforming their non-immersion peers in math, showing up to class more often, and enjoying themselves. These benefits ripple beyond the walls of the classroom.

In addition to promoting academic performance, student success, and student retention rates, language immersion programs have been demonstrated to:

  • Improve student self-esteem and sense of identity,
  • Reduce student anxiety,
  • Strengthen relationships among children, adults, and the community,
  • Serve as an effective strategy for fighting substance abuse, and
  • Preserve Montana culture and history.

“Languages are part of our future, our history, our identity,” said Cinda Burd, of Western Native Voice.

Language immersion programming is a smart state investment that will yield continued returns. Unless the Legislature acts, funding for language immersion programs will end on June 30, 2019, disadvantaging students and threatening language preservation.

Read more about the benefits of language immersion programs in MBPC’s report, Continued Preservation of Tribal Languages in Montana

House Bill 300: Sales Tax Proposal Makes Montana’s Taxes More Regressive and Reduces State Revenue

On Wednesday, February 6, House tax will hear HB 300, Generally revise taxes and the distribution of revenue through sales tax, sponsored by Representative White. This bill proposes to put a 2.5 percent statewide sales tax on most everything except for food and medical needs and eliminate state property taxes except for taxes on centrally assessed property.

Montana’s tax system is regressive, meaning families living on low- and middle-incomes pay a higher share of their income on taxes than the wealthy. However, Montana has one of the fairest state tax system in the nation ranking better than 43 other states using the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy’s Inequality Index.

Replacing property taxes with a sales tax is both impractical and unfair for Montana families. HB 300 would make Montana’s tax system more regressive, increasing the taxes paid by families living on lower- and middle-incomes in the state while decreasing the taxes paid by the wealthy.

Not only that, but HB 300 would result in a loss of state revenue. Under HB 300, many state investments like public education, infrastructure, and public health programs would be cut.

The following graphic shows what share of income is paid in state and local taxes in each income group in Montana currently, and what it would look like if HB 300 was passed.

Montana legislature, vote no on HB 300 which would hurt Montana families living on lower- and middle-incomes.

State Investments are Critical to Addressing the High Rates of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

“Too many of our sisters, mothers, and daughters have been left behind by our legal system,” said Rep. Rae Peppers, sponsor of House Bill 21, an act establishing “Hanna’s Act.”

Last Wednesday, January 30th, supporters of a package of bills drafted to address the issue of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) filled the Capitol. The House Judiciary Committee heard four hours of emotional testimony.

The hallmark bill of the package is House Bill 21, or Hanna’s Act, named for Hanna Harris, a young woman from Lame Deer who was missing for several days before she was found murdered. The bill authorizes the Montana Department of Justice (DOJ) to assist with the investigation of all missing persons cases, as well as creates and funds a missing persons specialist within the department. Hanna’s Act would appropriate $100,000 from the general fund to the DOJ for each year of the biennium beginning in July of 2019.

Hanna’s Act comes amid growing concerns surrounding MMIW and the lack of urgency by lawmakers and law enforcement officials to address the issue. In public testimony on Wednesday, Melinda Harris Limberhand, Hanna Harris’s mother, said, “When I reported my daughter missing, I was told by the chief of police, ‘She’s probably scared to come home.’”

Rep. Rae Peppers went on to say that there are misconceptions that women go missing because they are out partying or using drugs and alcohol. “This is a stereotype that we have to get rid of,” she said.

Though awareness around MMIW is growing, data on the scope of violence against American Indian women and girls is insufficient. According to a recent report by the Urban Indian Health Institute, 5,712 cases of MMIW were reported in 2016; however, the U.S. Department of Justice’s federal missing persons database logged only 116 cases. The same report notes that murder is the third-leading cause of death among American Indian women and that the rates of violence on reservations can be up to ten times higher than the national average. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, more than 80 percent of American Indian women have experienced violence in their lifetime, and that violence is significantly more likely to be committed by a non-Indian perpetrator.

Shelly Fyant, tribal councilmember for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, urged the committee to take action, stating, “Federal legislation alone will not keep our sisters and our children safe.”

The state has a role to play in curbing the high rates of violence against American Indian women and girls. Proponents of Hanna’s Act stressed the point that violence against women and girls happens across Montana, not only on reservations, and that the rates of violence in Montana are too high to ignore. According to the Urban Indian Health Institute, of 71 cities surveyed for MMIW cases, Billings, Montana, ranks 5th for total number of cases and 2nd for number of cases that are not in law enforcement records. Among states, Montana ranks 5th for highest number of MMIW cases.

Sen. Jason Small called Hanna’s Act “a fundamental part of promoting forward movement in Indian Country” and noted that it would be a small price to pay for big results.

Also heard on Wednesday was House Bill 54, which would require all law enforcement authorities, regardless of jurisdiction, to accept a missing persons report within two hours for persons under 21 years of age, and within eight hours for everybody else. The bill is designed to address confusion around jurisdiction and to further help curb the high rates of MMIW.

Paula Castro-Stops, the mother of Henny Scott, the 14-year-old high school freshman whose body was just found a few weeks ago outside Lame Deer, detailed her multiple attempts to file a missing persons report after her daughter disappeared. She believes that, with this legislation, her daughter would have been found alive.

“We must, as legislators, support this package of bills,” said Rep. Rae Peppers in closing.

Colleen Campbell, of Western Native Voice, expressed her pride in the role tribes in Montana are playing to address MMIW. The Legislature must follow suit and take action this legislative session.

Eliminating Water’s Edge Election: Making Corporate Taxes Fairer for Montana Main Street

On Tuesday, January 29, the Senate Taxation committee will hear a bill that seeks to make our corporate income tax system fairer for the small businesses lining the Main Streets of all of our communities. Senate Bill 141, proposes eliminating the water’s edge election for corporate income tax purposes in Montana.

In Montana, corporations are required to use combined filing to file their corporate income taxes. Combined filing means that a corporation must include all of their subsidiaries’ (or daughter companies’) income on their tax return. The corporation is taxed on the portion of that total income that is related to operations or profits connected to Montana.

Decades ago, states put in place the water’s edge election to allow multinational corporations to calculate total income using only their U.S. based income. In return these corporations pay a slightly higher tax rate of 7 percent on that income (compared to 6.75 percent).

Since the water’s edge election was put in place, shifting profits overseas has grown dramatically in recent years, and the use of Montana’s water’s edge election is evidence of that. In 2016, out of the over 16,000 corporations that filed taxes in Montana, 487 corporations benefitted from the water’s edge giveaway. The number of corporations filing water’s edge has more than doubled since 2009 when 221 corporations claimed the water’s edge election. In fact, corporations are expected to continue shifting $235 billion annually overseas post-federal tax reform.

The water’s edge election puts Montana’s small businesses – that do not have the luxury of overseas subsidiaries – at a disadvantage compared to multinational corporations that can shift their profits overseas. The Montana Legislature has some work to do to even the playing field for our small businesses. Eliminating the water’s edge election would give Montana’s Main Street businesses a better chance to compete against multinational corporations.

MBPC 2019 Legislative Priorities

At MBPC, we believe all Montanans deserve strong, healthy, and safe communities. During the legislative session, we will continue advocating for a strong state budget with responsible revenue that prioritizes investments to create opportunity for everyone, and we will work hard to ensure that nearly 100,000 Montanans do not lose their health care coverage when they need it most.

However, our work does not stop there. Our entire team will be dedicated to a range of issues to protect Montana families. Below is an overview of the issues we will be working on for the next four months.

A Responsible State Budget

MBPC will once again be closely tracking the development of the state budget, House Bill 2. Most state agencies are starting the 2019 budget process below where their budget was two years ago. While state agency budget reductions vary widely, most agencies faced a 5 to 10 percent reduction from 2017 to 2019. The Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) starts this budget cycle slightly above its previous base from 2017, but many individual divisions within DPHHS faced deep cuts in 2017 and therefore start with a 2019 base well below the previous biennium. Overall, important programs and services that help are still below where they were at the start of 2017. As the legislative joint subcommittees begin to make recommendations on the different sections of the state budget, we will work with partners and policymakers to find ways to restore lost investments and put Montana back on track. To get a sense of how MBPC is looking at the initial 2021 executive biennium budget, read our report 2021 Budget: An Opportunity to Get Montana Back on Track and Rebuild Public Investments.

Medicaid Expansion

Protecting the health care of nearly one in ten Montanans is a top priority for us. We are working with partners, advocates, and heath care providers to prevent the sunset of Montana’s successful Medicaid expansion, which has provided health coverage to nearly 95,000 Montanans. We are working tirelessly to prevent harmful changes like restrictive work and reporting requirements that will take health care away from Montanans when they need it most. Montana’s Medicaid expansion has been critical for individuals, businesses, and our overall economy.

Check out all of our research, which includes reports, county-by-county fact sheets, and regional data, on Medicaid expansion here.

Fair Taxes and Adequate Revenue

Without a doubt, our work on the state budget will continue to be challenging in the aftermath of deep budget cuts in 2017 and 2018. Throughout 2018, we travelled across the state to talk to Montanans and lift up the stories of families hurt by the elimination of essential health care services and resources due to these budget cuts. We are returning to the 2019 legislative session with revenue proposals to build a stronger state budget. We will work on a variety of proposals to make our tax code fairer including:

  • Eliminating the capital gains tax credit for those with incomes in excess of $1 million;
  • Restoring a top tax rate for those with very high incomes;
  • Increasing Montana’s minimum tax for corporate income taxpayers that has not been increased from the current $50 minimum tax rate since 1969; and
  • Implementing a minimum tax at the pass-through entity level to ensure that pass-through entities (that have multiple tiers of ownership, many of which are from out-of-state) are paying their fair share of taxes.

Stay tuned to our Facebook page as we unveil a series of videos explaining our proposals and how the budget cuts hurt families in Montana.

Housing Affordability

MBPC has been dedicated to studying how housing instability impacts individuals and families living on low-incomes and developing policy solutions that support inclusive and economically viable communities. During the session, we will be working on with the Montana Housing Coalition on Senate Bill 18. This will create a state Workforce Housing Tax Credit program designed to be coupled with federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits, and would provide critical gap-financing needed to increase the supply of affordable rental housing.

Indian Country

Across Indian Country, protecting Medicaid expansion is a top priority. The program has transformed access to health care for many American Indians. Because of expansion, nearly 16,000 eligible American Indians have gained access to a comprehensive range of health care services across the state. Not only does this have the potential to address persistent health disparities burdening American Indians, it brings much-needed health care dollars into the Indian Health Service and tribal facilities, which can bill Medicaid for services at their facilities. MBPC will continue to work closely with partners from across Indian Country to ensure Medicaid expansion is extended. Other legislative priorities include greater investments in tribal language preservation and language immersion programs, reentry programs for those who have dealt with the criminal justice system, and economic development in Indian Country.

Safety Net Defense

Not all of our work will be proactive. MBPC will dedicate energy to important defense work: protecting SNAP, Medicaid, TANF, and other critical programs from harmful asset tests, drug testing, confusing reporting requirements, and other provisions that keep people from getting the help they need to make ends meet.

Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance

MBPC will again support legislation to start a paid family and medical leave insurance pool in Montana. The Montana Family And Medical Leave Insurance Act (the FAMLI Act) would pool small contributions from employees and employers to create a dedicated funding stream for workers when they need time off to care for themselves or a loved one. From these small contributions, representing less than half of one percent of wages, eligible workers would receive a portion of their wages while on leave.

To be sure, we have much to get done this year to help improve the lives of families in Montana. With our incredible staff, partner organizations, and supporters around the state, we are optimistic of what we can accomplish together.

 

Intangible Personal Property Exemption: Shifting Taxes to Homeowners

One of MBPC’s favorite documents was just released, the Department of Revenue’s Biennial Report. The Biennial Report gives an overview of the state’s taxes, where they go, and even has a chapter on tax expenditures. Tax expenditures are tax breaks that result in less state revenue and, as a result, fewer funds to invest in things like education, infrastructure, and health care.

One interesting addition to the Biennial Report this year is the intangible personal property exemption for centrally assessed property. This particular provision in state code results in some of the biggest corporations in the state receiving a tax break to the tune of $15 million annually, and shifting $80 million of their property tax responsibility onto other property taxpayers (primarily residential homeowners). Those same $15 million could have funded an entire year of the school for the deaf and blind.

[popout] Centrally assessed properties operate as single entities and are connected across county or state borders. These entities’ values for the purposes of property taxes are centrally assessed by the state. The types of centrally assessed property in Montana includes railroads, telephone lines, power lines, natural gas transmission or oil transmission lines, pipelines, airlines, coal mines, and more.

A cell phone company is one example of a centrally assessed company. The company’s towers work together to form a connection and communicate with each other. This connection is what gives the company its value. Thus, it is centrally assessed in Montana by the Department of Revenue on a statewide basis rather than having each county determine how much it should pay in taxes. [/popout]

So what exactly is “intangible personal property”? Intangible personal property is property that cannot be touched. This can include things like contracts, agreements, copyrights, software, and even the good reputation of a company that gives customers the confidence to invest.

Montanans around the state are feeling the pressure of increasing property taxes. One way to address this concern of many of our citizens is to require that centrally assessed corporations pay property taxes on the full value their property, and not just their physical property. The intangible personal property exemption allows these big companies to exclude intangible property from the property included in their tax bill. For example, a cell phone company could exclude the value of the computer software used in the transmitters as intangible property. The physical equipment used in the transmitter would be tangible property.

Everyone knows that not all value is tangible, and that the new tech economy would not be as valuable as it is without intangible value. What would a company be without their copyrights, agreements, and everything else that can’t be held in a hand?

When big businesses get out of paying their fair share, guess who picks up the tab? Schools do not cost less to educate our kids, roads do not cost less to fix, and public safety does not cost less to respond to emergencies. Instead, local homeowners and small business owners pay more. It is time for the Montana Legislature to repeal the intangible personal property exemption for centrally assessed companies.

HELP-Link: Successfully Connecting People with Work

Montana’s expansion of Medicaid, the Health and Economic Livelihood Partnership (HELP) Act, has had many economic, health, and employment benefits for the state and its participants. Of the more than 95,000 enrollees, 65,000 have accessed preventative health care services, such as cancer screenings, colonoscopies, diabetes screenings, and preventative dental services. Medicaid expansion has saved the state $58 million in budget savings and has brought in $47 million in new tax revenue.

One of the other major successes of Medicaid expansion has been the HELP-Link program, helping thousands of Montanans access job training to help secure employment (or greater employment). Since the creation of HELP-Link, Montana has seen increased workforce participation among Montanans with low-incomes.

To date, the HELP-Link program has connected 25,244 people enrolled in Medicaid to Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) employment services. HELP-Link provides intensive one-on-one support that has helped over 3,000 Montanans receive employment training services.

Unlike costly reporting requirements proposed in other states, which just monitor the hours of people who are already working, HELP-Link has invested in programs geared toward those that need workforce training and assistance. These services include job seeker workshops, assistance for training in high-demand sectors, credit history counseling, and on-the-job-training programs. The program also connects people to other services such as home health aides, childcare, and housing. By addressing actual barriers to work, HELP-Link has been effective at raising employment as well as earnings.

HELP-Link has worked. Of the 3,150 Medicaid clients that completed the DLI workforce training programs in 2016, 70 percent were employed after finishing their training. Over half of those employed had higher wages after completing the program, with an $8,057 wage gain over the previous year.

Medicaid expansion and the HELP-Link program may have raised employment rates among Montanan’s with low-income, according to the Bureau of Business and Economic Research at the University of Montana. Montanans with disabilities living below poverty experienced a 6 percent increase in labor force participation between 2015 and 2016. For Montanans without disabilities, there was a 9 percent increase. Other states did not see similar employment gains during the same period, nor did Montana see similar employment gains among those with higher income levels.

HELP Link has worked, and policymakers would be wise to consider ways to bolster –  not jeopardize – the successes we have seen with this innovative program.

Arkansas is Kicking Thousands Off Medicaid

If you have a few minutes to watch the story of Adrian McGonigal, you will quickly see why Arkansas’s strict work requirements are not working.

Since September, nearly 17,000 individuals in Arkansas have been kicked off their Medicaid health insurance as a result of stringent requirements to report certain work-related activities. As Montana heads into its legislative session where continuing Montana’s successful Medicaid expansion program will be a key topic of debate, it is worth looking at what is happening in Arkansas as a result of these harsh new requirements. In just the first few months of implementing Arkansas’s work requirement, over 12,000 low-income individuals lost health care coverage. We learned recently that another 4,655 Arkansas lost their coverage in December because they have not reported at least 80 hours of work-related activities in the previous three months.

These Arkansans are the first in the country to lose Medicaid benefits as a result of strict work requirements. Rather than using state resources to help people access work support and workforce training, Arkansas’s new policy only serves to take health care coverage away from people when they most need it. Earlier this year, a federal judge struck down Kentucky’s similar requirements, determining these work requirements are not in line with the core objectives of Medicaid to provide affordable health care coverage to families living in poverty. (Kentucky refiled their waiver, and the federal Health and Human Services again approved it in November 2018. This updated plan, which differs little from the previous proposal, will again be reviewed by the court.)

With additional data on Arkansas, state policymakers should look closely at the effect of these provisions. The cumbersome requirements in Arkansas do more to create additional paperwork than it does to create employment. The vast majority of Medicaid beneficiaries who can work are already working. Out of the 69,743 beneficiaries in the Arkansas Works Program who were subject to the work requirement in October, 55,388 were exempt from reporting their activities because they were already meeting the requirement due to work, training, or other activities.

In October, 10,768 Arkansan Medicaid beneficiaries were required to report work activities, which until January 2019, only includes those aged 30-49. In this month, only 1,428 people (just 13 percent) were able to report satisfying the reporting requirement. An additional 914 newly filed for exemptions.

Out of the remaining 8,426 beneficiaries, only 118 people reported some activities but not enough to satisfy the 80 hours/month requirement. This could mean that many people who did not report satisfying the requirement did not know about the new regulations or were unable to create accounts and navigate the online portal. As a result, these individuals have lost health care coverage.

Before, Arkansans facing a difficult time could rely on Medicaid for health care coverage. Workers with low-incomes who had been struggling to get enough hours at their job or had been recently laid off were able to maintain health care coverage and avoid compounding their financial difficulties. But with this new policy in place, families with low-incomes face a ticking clock before losing their health insurance.

While the new reporting requirements in Arkansas have not significantly changed the number of Medicaid beneficiaries who are working, they have resulted in thousands of people losing their health care coverage. Losing health care can make it more difficult for people facing serious illnesses to return to work in the future.

In January, Arkansas will expand its requirements to new populations, including those aged 19 to 29 and eventually to American Indians. Thus, we can expect even more Arkansans losing health care coverage if the state keeps in place these harsh requirements.

Montana’s voluntary workforce program, HELP-Link, has been successful at assisting individuals to address work-related barriers and find employment. This more individualized approach allows people to keep their insurance and better enables them to find work. Stay tuned for another blog on Montana’s successful HELP-Link program coming tomorrow, and MBPC will continue to closely track the effects of harsh requirements in Arkansas and elsewhere.

Position Announcement: Legislative Intern

MBPC is seeking two legislative interns for the 2019 Montana Legislative Session. Positions will be full-time and temporary, starting December 2018 and running through the end of April 2019. We are looking for highly-motivated individuals with a lot of drive, as well as brains and perseverance in the face of challenging and often fast-paced work.

The team at MBPC is passionate about economic policies that create a fair opportunity for everyone to work, learn, and improve their lives in Montana. Our interns must be equally passionate about including and elevating the voices of those left out of conversations about economic policies, including women, seniors, people with disabilities, American Indians, and low-income families.

Duties and Responsibilities

Legislative interns will provide support to the entire MBPC team during the 2019 Legislative Session. Duties maybe include but are not limited to:

  • Tracking legislation and providing staff with daily updates on hearing schedules, committee meetings, and legislative progress
  • Assist in drafting and editing of advocacy, educational, outreach, and lobbying materials
  • Attending committee hearings and taking detailed notes to the MBPC team
  • Monitoring the progress of the state budget
  • Compiling daily news clips
  • Providing rapid response support to MBPC lobbying team including quick printing of materials
  • Assist with the organization’s web presence, including website, social media platforms, in a manner consistent with MBPC’s messaging

Required Qualifications, Experience, and Education

  • A commitment to MBPC’s mission
  • An understanding of Montana’s political or policy environment
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills
  • Sense of humor
  • Strong ability to work independently as well as in a collaborative environment
  • Ability to prioritize, multi-task, and work at a high capacity in order to meet deadlines
  • Strong abilities in Microsoft Office Suite

To Apply: Send an email with attached resume and cover letter explaining your interest in and qualifications for the position to: Kirsten Gerbatsch at kgerbatsch@montanabudget.org.  Applications will be considered until the position is filled. Finalists will be asked to submit a writing sample and references.

MBPC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and an equal opportunity employer.  Women, people of color, persons with disabilities, and members of the LGBT community are encouraged to apply.