The Children, Families, Health, and Human Services Interim Committee decided in June to consider two legislative proposals related to a uniform guardianship law when it meets again in late August.

Members asked staff to draft legislation that would:

  • require consideration of less restrictive alternatives before guardianship is requested; and
  • require a guardian of an adult to submit an individualized plan for the adult.

Those provisions were included in the 2017 Uniform Guardianship, Conservatorship, and Other Protective Arrangements Act, which the 2019 Legislature considered but did not approve. The Senate Judiciary Committee instead asked that an interim committee review the act to determine if all or portions of the uniform law should be adopted in Montana.

The committee will take public comment on the two bill drafts in August.

Also at their June 29 meeting, committee members:

  • agreed to continue reviewing four bill drafts related to the House Joint Resolution 50 study of senior and long-term care services before taking final action on the ideas in August;
  • asked that people involved in the judicial system provide more information in August about ideas for speeding up court review of child abuse and neglect cases that involve the emergency removal of a child from the home;
  • approved the draft final report for the House Joint Resolution 32 study of prenatal drug use;
  • heard about public health home visiting programs designed to improve outcomes for pregnant women and young children and reduce the risks of abuse and neglect;
  • heard from tribal representatives about the health care, prevention, and long-term care services they provide, as well as the barriers to providing those services;
  • reviewed portions of a financial-compliance audit that looked at the state's procedures for verifying eligibility for the Medicaid program; and
  • heard from the Department of Public Health and Human Services about the agency's public health and public assistance efforts related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The committee decided to hold a one-day meeting in August, rather than a two-day meeting, and to meet by videoconference rather than in person. The committee's final meeting is scheduled for Aug. 28.

For more information about the committee's activities, visit the committee's website or contact committee researcher Sue O'Connell by e-mail or by phone, at 406-444-3597.

The Legislative News.