Connect with us

Local News

The Montana Senate supports funding for mental health care



Helena, Montana – The proposed constitutional amendment that would significantly increase funding for mental health services in Montana received the unanimous support of the Montana Senate on Monday.

Sen. Ken Bogner, R-Miles City, is the primary sponsor of Senate Bill 563, which would establish the Montana Mental Health Trust Fund and earn interest to finance mental health initiatives in the state. Also, in order to use money from the trust fund for anything other than mental health, the legislature would need to approve it by a margin of two-thirds.

“We have a behavioral health crisis here in Montana, and this is a trend that isn’t going to go away unless we commit to addressing it,” said Bogner at the March 29 Senate Public Health, Welfare and Safety Committee hearing.

For SB 563 to be put on the ballot as a constitutional amendment, it must receive 100 votes, or a two-thirds majority, from the House and the Senate. Bill 563 had strong bipartisan support on Monday, passing the second reading 41–9.

The Montana Mental Health Trust Fund would establish long-term, reliable funding that would provide a foundation for ongoing initiatives and priorities if it were approved by voters. The trust should be funded at $50 million, according to Bill 563, but the legislature must first establish and authorize that financing.

SB 563 will now go up for a final vote in the Senate, and if it passes with a majority, it will be debated in the House.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *