2019 Montana Legislature
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HOUSE BILL NO. 309
INTRODUCED BY K. DUDIK
A BILL FOR AN ACT ENTITLED: "AN ACT CREATING A TEMPORARY GRANT PROGRAM TO PROVIDE PREGNANT WOMEN SEEKING ASSISTANCE WITH A SUBSTANCE USE DISORDER WITH THE OPPORTUNITY TO ENTER INTO VOLUNTARY PRENATAL PROTECTIVE SERVICES AGREEMENTS TO OBTAIN TREATMENT AND AVOID PROSECUTION; PROVIDING RULEMAKING AUTHORITY; AMENDING SECTION 50-32-609, MCA; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE AND A TERMINATION DATE."
WHEREAS, the number of Montana children in foster care is increasing sharply; and
WHEREAS, over half of Montana children in foster care are removed from the home for reasons related to parental substance abuse; and
WHEREAS, the percentage of infants having experienced prenatal drug exposure is increasing; and
WHEREAS, pregnancy provides a unique intervention opportunity for treatment of substance use disorders and prevention of family separation.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
NEW SECTION. Section 1. Purpose. The purpose of [sections 1 through 5] is to promote the development of voluntary prenatal protective services agreements to provide a pregnant woman who is dealing with a substance use disorder with evaluation, treatment, and support services without fear of being criminalized or separated from her child or children.
NEW SECTION. Section 2. Definitions. As used in [sections 1 through 5], the following definitions apply:
(1) "Department" means the department of public health and human services provided for in 2-15-2201.
(2) "Local public health unit" means a county health department or tribal health department.
NEW SECTION. Section 3. Rulemaking authority. The department shall adopt rules necessary to administer [sections 1 through 5]. The rules may include but are not limited to:
(1) eligibility requirements for local public health units applying for grants;
(2) criteria for determining the amount of funding granted; and
(3) reporting procedures for local public health units receiving grants.
NEW SECTION. Section 4. Appropriation -- grants -- reporting requirements. (1) Subject to appropriation by the legislature, the department shall allocate the money received to a division of the department responsible for prevention and treatment of addictive and mental disorders. The money must be used to provide grants to local public health units that submit a proposal in accordance with [section 5].
(2) The appropriation in subsection (1) is intended to be a one-time-only appropriation for the biennium beginning July 1, 2019.
(3) The department shall issue a report to the 2021 joint appropriations subcommittee on health and human services by the end of the biennium beginning July 1, 2019, regarding opportunities for federal and private funding partnerships in the area of prevention and treatment of substance use disorders during pregnancy.
NEW SECTION. Section 5. Grant application process -- voluntary prenatal protective service agreements. (1) In order to receive a grant under [section 4], a local public health unit shall submit to the department a proposal for a program to enter into voluntary prenatal protective services agreements with pregnant women experiencing a substance use disorder.
(2) A woman entering into a voluntary prenatal protective services agreement is entitled to:
(a) facilitation of a family group decisionmaking meeting and implementation of a safety plan developed during the meeting;
(b) evaluation of the pregnant woman by a licensed addiction counselor, an advanced practice registered nurse with training in chemical dependency, or another appropriate professional;
(c) development of a treatment plan, including referrals to other service providers; and
(d) in-home services aimed at supporting the woman throughout her pregnancy and treatment for her substance use disorder.
(3) Local public health units may elect whether to provide the services listed in subsection (2) in-house, to contract with outside entities, or to provide a combination of in-house and contract services.
Section 6. Section 50-32-609, MCA, is amended to read:
"50-32-609. Good Samaritan protections. (1) The provisions of 45-5-626, 45-9-102, 45-9-107, and 45-10-103 do not apply to:
(a) a person who, acting in good faith, seeks medical assistance for another person who is experiencing an actual or reasonably perceived drug-related overdose if the evidence supporting an arrest, charge, or prosecution was obtained as a result of the person's seeking medical assistance for another person; and
(b) a person who experiences a drug-related overdose and is in need of medical assistance if the evidence supporting an arrest, charge, or prosecution was obtained as a result of the drug-related overdose and the need for medical assistance.; and
(c) a pregnant woman participating or considering participating in a voluntary prenatal protective services agreement pursuant to [sections 1 through 5].
(2) A person's pretrial release, probation, furlough, supervised release, or parole may not be revoked based on an incident for which the person would be immune from arrest, charge, or prosecution under this section.
(3) A person's act of providing first aid or other medical assistance to a person who is experiencing an actual or reasonably perceived drug-related overdose may be used as a mitigating factor in a criminal prosecution for which immunity is not provided under this section.
(4) This section may not be construed to:
(a) bar the admissibility of evidence obtained in connection with the investigation and prosecution of other crimes or violations committed by a person who otherwise qualified for limited immunity under this section; or
(b) limit, modify, or remove immunity from liability currently available to public entities, public employees, or prosecutors or by law."
NEW SECTION. Section 7. Notification to tribal governments. The secretary of state shall send a copy of [this act] to each tribal government located on the seven Montana reservations and to the Little Shell Chippewa tribe.
NEW SECTION. Section 8. Effective date. [This act] is effective July 1, 2019.
NEW SECTION. Section 9. Termination. [Section 6] terminates June 30, 2021.
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