At its final meeting on Aug. 28, the Children, Families, Health, and Human Services Interim Committee agreed to send eight bills to the 2021 Legislature, based on its work on three studies.

Over the past year, the committee studied the child protective services system, senior and long-term care services, and a uniform bill on guardianship that a national group has recommended be adopted in all 50 states.

The committee agreed to introduce the following bills in the 2021 session:

  • SB 202-1, to require consideration of less restrictive alternatives in adult guardianship proceedings;
  • SB 202-2, to revise monitoring requirements for guardians of adults;
  • HJR 48/49-1, to require a new emergency protective services hearing within 5 business days of the time a child is removed from the home because of safety concerns related to abuse or neglect;
  • HJR 48/49-3, to require the 2021-22 interim committee to review the results of ongoing judicial pilot projects for CPS cases and, if the results are promising, to establish a working group to consider how the pilot projects could be implemented statewide;
  • HJR 50-1, to clarify eligibility requirements for the Medicaid Medically Needy program;
  • HJR 50-2, to require the Department of Public Health and Human Services to provide 30 days' notice when it intends to terminate a person's participation in a home and community-based services waiver program;
  • HJR 50-3, to require that substantive changes to a home and community-based services waiver be made only through the administrative rulemaking process; and
  • HJR 50-4, to establish legislative intent for home and community-based services waiver programs.

The HJR 50 bill drafts would apply to all home and community-based services waiver programs, not just the waiver for the elderly and people with physical disabilities. Montana also has Medicaid home and community-based services waiver programs for people with developmental disabilities and with severe disabling mental illness.

The committee also approved the early drafting and pre-introduction of five DPHHS legislative proposals and heard a presentation on the state's plan for implementing the Family First Prevention Services Act, which makes significant changes to the child welfare system.

The bill drafts and other information related to the committee's activities are available on the committee's website; click on Committee Topics on the homepage and select the study or other topic of interest. 

The Legislative News.