Yesterday’s Announcement of Cuts Restoration: Impact on DPHHS

On August 30, the governor announced how the roughly $45 million restored to state agencies would be allocated. Funds are allocated based on the level of cut for FY2019 that each agency faced during the special session. About $30 million will go back to the Department of Public Health and Human Services, which took a disproportionate cut compared to other agencies.

Preston Parish Joins the MBPC Team

MBPC is thrilled to announce Preston Parish as our new State Tribal Policy Fellow.

Preston comes to MBPC with a commitment to analyzing state tax and budget policies with the goal of increasing socioeconomic outcomes and opportunities for American Indians and tribal communities in Montana. Preston’s professional background includes working on state and local policy issues ranging from environmental justice and infrastructure to public health and higher education. He was the 2017 University of Michigan Gerald R.

American Indians and Montana’s Criminal Justice Reinvestment Initiative

Montana is currently undertaking a significant criminal justice reform effort, making this an ideal time to incorporate important changes that will benefit American Indians who are arrested and incarcerated at a disproportionately higher rate than white Montanans, as seen in Table 1 below.

Table 1.

News Release: New Report – Criminal Justice Reinvestment in Montana: Improving Outcomes for American Indians

Today, the Montana Budget and Policy Center released its latest report titled Criminal Justice Reinvestment in Montana: Improving Outcomes for American Indians.

“Montana is currently undertaking a significant criminal justice reform effort, making this an ideal time to incorporate important changes that can help reduce incarceration and recidivism rates for American Indians,” said Heather Cahoon, state-tribal policy analyst for the Montana Budget and Policy Center and enrolled member of the Confederate Salish and Kootenai Tribes.

In 2015, the Montana legislature created a fifteen-member Commission

New Efforts to Increase Tourism in Indian Country

A recent story in the Missoulian announced an exciting new effort by the Montana Department of Commerce to support and enhance tourism in Indian Country and the state.

Last year, MBPC released a paper “Tourism Could Be an Economic Driver in Indian Country With Focus and Investment,” where we reported that tourism is one of Montana’s leading industries, bringing in 12 million tourists annually, creating thousands of jobs, and contributing billions of dollars to our state’s economy.

In 2016, roughly 1.4 million of visitors

MBPC Hosts Legislative Candidate Budget Education Sessions

Last week, MBPC hosted state budget educational sessions in Billings and Great Falls for legislative candidates. This was a new venture for our organization, and we were excited by the strong turnout. We had nearly 30 participants at each location and candidates traveled as many as 340 miles to attend. Thanks to all who attended!

In Montana, the executive and legislative branches hold a constitutional responsibility to balance the state budget every two years.

Chambers of Commerce on Medicaid Expansion: In Their Own Words

At least 25 Chambers of Commerce across the country have supported Medicaid expansion, recognizing it as critical to businesses, workers, health care providers, and local economies.

Arizona – Arizona State Chamber Letter to Governor Brewer, signed by 12 other local Chambers (See also, Arizona Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Policy Brief: The Business Case for AHCCCS Expansion)

“A strong healthcare system is crucial to the economic health and vitality of the entire state.