Legislation and Advocacy
The 2023 Montana Legislature has concluded. NAMI Montana’s work in this session was laid two years in advance with interim mental health and criminal justice studies that examined in depth the challenges facing Montana’s mental health treatment system for adults and youth, in our communities, and in our inpatient facilities.
Our main focuses coming into the session were to:
Improve funding for youth suicide prevention
Enhance reimbursement for community crisis beds
Improve reimbursement rates for community behavioral health providers
Legislatively call for implementation of Certified Community Behavioral Health Centers
Improve the conditional release process for offenders with serious mental health conditions
Improve Montana State Hospital and other state health facilities
We were fortunate to be able to work with Governor Gianforte and amazing bipartisan Legislators to make serious headway on all of these issues. There isn’t enough room to write about everything people worked on.
Here is a list of bills that we were fortunate to help draft and work to pass to tackle the key issues above. We are so grateful to the sponsors and everyone that supported them
HB 286 – Rep. Mary Caferro – HEART Funds for Youth Suicide Prevention
HB 557 – Rep. Jennifer Carlson – HEART Funds for Community Crisis Beds
SB 6 – Senator Jen Gross – Improve Conditional Release Process
HB 310 – Rep. Jennifer Carlson – Require Report on HEART Funds
There were two big bills that were tied to the Governor’s budget. House Bill 2 increased provider rate for mental health providers and HB 872 is setting up planning and funding for mental health services infrastructure.
HB 2 – Rep. Llew Jones – State Budget bill that Increased Provider Rates
HB 872 – Rep. Bob Keenan – Future Generation Behavioral Health System Funding