Farm Bill Includes Provisions for Indian Country

On February 4, 2014 Congress passed the “Farm Bill” which authorizes funding for federal agricultural and nutrition programs for the next five years.  Although it was disappointing that the SNAP program was cut by $8.6 billion dollars, hurting millions of families that struggle to put food on the table, there were other parts of the bill that will help Indian Country.  Here is a highlight of some of those changes shared by the National Congress of American Indians:
Feasibility Study, Report, and Demonstration Project for

Top Five Reasons Montana Should Expand Health Coverage Through Medicaid

Montana has the chance to provide 70,000 people with high-quality health coverage by accepting federal funding to expand Medicaid to those whose incomes are less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level.  For a single person, this means earning less than $15,857, and for a family a three, less than $26,951.
Here’s why it’s such a good idea:
1.

Welcome to “Charted Territory”

Welcome to Charted Territory, the new blog from the Montana Budget and Policy Center.
Montana is at a crossroads. We face many challenges – reducing poverty, growing our economy, creating jobs, and ensuring access to health care. There are so many possible directions we could turn that sometimes it feels like we are lost in uncharted territory.
We aim to give Montanans a map to these crucial issues, using accurate information and clear, non-partisan analysis to provide timely commentary.

Report Shows State-Funded Preschool Helps Economy

“Report Shows State-Funded Preschool Helps Economy,” ABC FOX Montana, December 11, 2013.

A new report shows if all children went to preschool, children would not only get a head start on their education, but it would save the state money.
The study, released on Wednesday by the Montana Budget and Policy Center, a non-profit research institute, shows Montana is one of only ten states with no state-funded preschool system.
With all of the activities offered at Discovery Preschool in Missoula, preschoolers have something to

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.