Montana State Senate
Montana State Senate
Do not eliminate targeted case management for individuals with developmental disabilities
The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services has decided to end its contracts with four organizations that provide Targeted Case Management services for roughly 2,200 adults with developmental disabilities. This will put 79 people out of work. Targeted Case Managers work with people age 16 and up who have developmental disabilities, helping them get necessary services and care. They serve as advocates, for example, as people get and keep jobs, transition to independent living and find doctors and therapist. Among the many services the case managers provide is helping the developmentally disabled qualify for targeted case management. Once that is set up, case mangers can help clients navigate the transition form high school and living at home to entering the workforce and independent living. They can help secure housing by getting people Section 8 vouchers, and keep people in their homes by resolving issues with landlords and making sure people aren't taken advantage of. Case managers can also help people find medical and therapy providers and make sure they get appointments and take medication. In some cases, a person can have the same case manager for years or decades, building a relationship that creates a high level of understanding. One individual in Miles City Montana, has had case management services for 25 years and was devastated by the news of these changes. These and other cuts are due to the $227 Million shortfall in Montana’s budget . The contracts with A.W.A.R.E. Inc., Opportunity Resources, Helena Industries and the Central Montana Medical Center will expire on March 31, 2018. These contracts will not be renewed. “Under these cuts, clients who are not eligible for Medicaid will no longer receive case management services. Jaci Noonan with Anaconda-based A.W.A.R.E. said it serves 600 clients and will close offices in Red Lodge, Miles City, Sidney and Glasgow. Around 20 people will lose their jobs. Deb Heerdt, director of case management for Helena Industries, said 732 people in Butte, Anaconda, Great Falls and Bozeman will lose services and 26 employees will lose their jobs. Jamee Barman, case management supervisor with Central Montana Medical Center in Lewistown said 70 people will lose their services from the center. The directors say losing case managers could cause some of their clients to end up in nursing homes or without the services that allow them to stay in their own communities.” Case managers aid in all aspects of their clients life including assessing basic needs, developing care plans for their clients well being, monitoring services and cost plans, as well as responding to crises to ensure all clients health and safety. With these budget cuts, they are taking the work load of many and giving it to 1 individual. This will reduce services to being very basic. This could put the well being of many individuals at risk. DPHHS will reconvene on January 19th to finalize this decision. If we can all band together and show our opposition to this tax cut we may be able to reverse the decision. Please help us by signing this petition and showing your support for targeted case managers as well as those with developmental disabilities who rely on their case managers for many of their daily needs. Reference Used: http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2017/dec/28/montana-budget-cuts-end-case-management-for-develo/
Remove the penalty that prevents people with disabilities from marrying!
When we think of marriage equality, we think about the ongoing fight LGBT couples face, but another minority group must deal with the stark reality that they are better off living in long-term committed relationships, without marriage. Like LGBT couples, these couples are denied the right to over 1,100 rights afforded to married couples. They have been denied access into their loved ones hospital rooms, faced family disputes over wills and have been denied spousal benefits from their partners workplace or the government in the event of their partners death. These are people with disabilities. Many people rely on the government for medical and financial assistance. Without medical insurance they would have no way to live independently. They would be forced into nursing homes (some already are), which would cost the government significantly more than getting Medicare and/or Medicaid does. At the same time, this assistance comes with a price. The government expects married couples to share income and that affects any assistance the couple receives. For many, their spouse makes too much (even if they make meager SSDI payments). This cuts into the healthcare services these couples receive. For some, their able-bodied partners make too much to allow them to qualify for medical assistance, if married, but not enough to pay out of pocket for costly medical equipment, medicine, or any other needs the disabled partner has. Add in the fact that even when a person with a disability can work, the opportunity for quality medical insurance is hard to find, due to their pre-existing condition and you will understand why many couples with disabilities are forced to live in domestic partnerships. Also, if two people with disabilities marry and they are on SSI or SSDI, their payments are CUT significantly, making it hard for them to maintain independence and afford their own food, shelter, clothing or other necessities. The time to stand up is now!! Let your Senators and Representatives know you want to remove the income caps placed on individuals with disabilities, so they can keep the government assistance and still be able to get married. Every loving couple deserves the right to marry. No one should have to choose between their wheelchair and their love, their therapy and their love, their medication and their love, their ability to eat or have a roof over their head and their love!! Those are not choices!! Help make it possible for those with disabilities to share their love without being penalized!Join our fight for marriage equality for people with disabilities:https://www.facebook.com/MarriageEqualityForPeopleWithDisabilities
Require Amazon to Collect and Remit Sales Tax For All FBA (Fulfilled By Amazon) Sales
Please require Amazon to collect and remit sales tax for all FBA (fulfilled by Amazon) purchases. Requiring the hundreds of thousands of small businesses to register in every state and collect and remit in all applicable states is not practical -- it is a complex, heavy financial burden on small businesses and it is causing states to lose billions of dollars in tax revenue each year. With E-commerce now playing such a big role in the local economies, and with Amazon being THE major player, it is time for new legislation to be passed so that these matters can be properly addressed, removing any doubt regarding State sales tax liability and nexus -- especially as it relates to Amazon FBA and similar programs. If Amazon FBA was recognized as consignment, from a sales tax perspective, as it should be, then this would solve a lot of the associated issues that we are currently seeing. Laws vary from state-to-state, but most states require that the consignee (the store, or, Amazon in this case) should collect and remit sales tax. Arguments regarding consignment, who the seller really is and who the 'supplier' is: 1. FBA 'Suppliers' (as they should be called, and not FBA 'sellers') do not choose how/where their products are stored/shipped. 2. Commission is paid to Amazon on each unit sold. 3. FBA 'suppliers' must adhere to Amazon policy. Suppliers do not have the right to refuse sale/shipment without consequence and do not collect any money on transactions (all transactions are handled and controlled by Amazon, the store owner, with the supplier having no participation in said transactions). 4. FBA 'suppliers' have no real relationship with the customer as nearly all communication is prohibited as per Amazon (this relationship is owned and controlled by Amazon, the real seller). 5. Amazon provides advertising for products that they sell, including FBA products. Suppliers have no say in that message or how it's presented. 6. Amazon charges a 'monthly, rental fee' (FBA subscription fee) to display FBA products at their property, as well as additional fees for special exposure (e.g. special ad types or brand page vs. window or end-cap at front of store), as well as additional fees for how the product may be presented (e.g. videos on listing vs. in-store display). 7. Product ownership does not transfer to Amazon (the store owner), but sits on Amazon's shelves until a buyer is found...at which point, the buyer should pay the appropriate sales tax (Amazon/the store owner, is responsible for collecting and remitting this, as they handle all transactions with the end-buyer and own the property where all merchandise is stored and sold). 8. et al. Amazon should be charging and then remitting the sales tax to all applicable states -- not the FBA seller. Not only would this eliminate any argument about complexity or what constitutes nexus amid the varying, questionable and ever-changing interpretations that each state has established, but convincing the States to get behind it should be easy if they only had to pursue one entity (Amazon), in lieu of the hundreds of thousands of small businesses that currently operate within the US marketplace. It is estimated that the majority of the FBA sellers that sell on the Amazon-US marketplace are operating on foreign soil, and do not have a legal entity that is locally established inside of the United States. How are the states going to force compliance if a foreign seller, using a foreign bank account, is operating outside of the jurisdiction of local law? This poses serious problems and creates an environment of unfair competition if foreign sellers can offer products 10% cheaper due to not having to collect and remit sales tax. If Amazon were required to collect and remit on all FBA sales, not only would this reduce costs, man hours and complexity etc., but it would be a lot easier to ensure compliance and remittance. States could get the tax dollars that they desperately need, instead of missing out as they do now. If things continue as they are, States will waste tons of money auditing individual sellers and pursuing legal action, all, unnecessarily. Since Amazon has decided to take full custody of its customer base and is essentially acting as consignment, this should put sales tax liability on Amazon's shoulders, not on FBA sellers. Since FBA sellers are currently required to collect and remit for all states where they are deemed to have a substantial nexus, then, in order to do that, they must first register their business in that State, apply for permits etc., and admit to having a substantial nexus. Just having a single box of inventory in one of Amazon's warehouses will be sufficient for establishing nexus for most applicable states. Amazon may move inventory around, however they see fit, and in doing so, will force FBA sellers to have nexus in those states, oftentimes, unknowingly. Once nexus is established for a particular state, it applies to ALL subsequent sales to that State -- so, if a seller wants to sell something on Ebay, and the buyer is located in the nexus state, then that seller would need to collect and remit sales tax, even if that inventory was stored in and shipped from their home. If FBA sellers are required to register in all of the applicable states and admit that they have a substantial nexus, they would then potentially be subject to Corporate/State income taxes for that state, use-tax for all products/services, franchise taxes, non-resident taxes, opportunity taxes and other, associated fees/taxes etc.. If non-local businesses have to admit that they have substantial nexus due to a single box of inventory, and if they have to remit in the same way (or worse) as a local business that is actually operating out of that state, then what other tax implications and responsibilities will they be subjecting themselves to? And wouldn't this put undue burden on FBA sellers? And isn't that illegal? Please require Amazon to collect and remit sales tax for all FBA (fulfilled by Amazon) purchases. Thank you.
Stop The Statute of Limitations (SOL) on Sex Crimes - Sexual Assault, Pedophilia, Rape
Lesley Barton’s WWII hero father once said to her, “You should never take advantage of someone that is weak or vulnerable just because you can." Little did he know how much his simple words would one day mean to his beloved daughter as the 1st survivor of 10 (4 in SOL 6 outside of it) known victims to report a 15 yr active and violent serial rapist who continuously got off with slaps on the wrist. The time is NOW to Stop The Statute of Limitations on Sex Crimes for children and adults. Please click the link below to learn more about her and her sisters’ fight against sadistic and emboldened rapist Marc Winner and to really understand the gravity of predators like him who are able to use the statute of limitations against their victims to their advantage. http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/December-2016/Marc-Winner/__________________________________________Lesley’s story... Over 16 years, she’d hoped and prayed this day would actually never come, because although she knew he couldn’t stop-it was her greatest wish that he would, so no one else would be violently raped by him again. Painfully, that was not the case with 4 in the Statute of Limitations and 10 known total in a 15 year period. The continuous promises made to her when they wanted her to be okay with the plea deal, were not kept. Woman after woman reported him only to be disbelieved and disregarded, because of archaic belief systems even within the justice system and Chicagoland Cook County City and Suburbs being on different computer systems. How senseless is that? This has not been an easy road for her and her sisters. It’s actually been harder than any victim survivor could ever be able to explain. Our msister and brother survivors understand why sexual assault is the most under reported crime, because coming forward in order to protect others from a monster has no upsides due to the revictimization of stigma, harassment, a pretty inept and broken system, and those who want to make rape of all things about politics or shaming and blaming the survivor rather than stopping the perp. It’s been a long 16+ years for Lesley Barton who was the first to report Marc Winner for criminal sexual assault. Even after she came to terms with the unthinkable by finding some joy again she was really thrown for a loop that invasion day almost two years ago now when she found out he was back or actually never left. For he remained active and her reporting him, going to all their trial dates, and his slap on the wrist plea deal didn’t keep him from continuing his proclivity to do irreparable and permanent harm. Lesley no lomger feels any of the unfounded shame or blame any longer. She could really careless what the ignorant callous bullies towards survivors of rape think or say either. She does however feel an immense responsibility to her sisters who survived him, all sister and brother survivors, and the community at large to see this through to the end-to finish this-and to help convict him anyway they lawfully can so he never hurts another living soul again. Many confusingly mock and attack survivor activists who put it all on the line to stop criminals by using the term social justice warrior as a negative connotation on the internet and elsewhere. However, what they don’t seem to understand is that this is NOT a political issue and a violent despicable crime such as rape can never be referred to as “social.” It’s a matter of stopping a violent criminal from seriously hurting others in a way that the survivors receive a life sentence. Rape is actually a CRIMINAL JUSTICE issue-always has been, always will be. As a Criminal Justice issue, one way to end the emboldening of predators like Marc Winner, Brock Turner, Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, James Toback, Kevin Spacey, Brett Ratner, Louis CK, USA Gymnasts Dr. Larry Nassar, Thad Alton, and Denny Hastert (to name only a small few) is to Stop the Statute of Limitations Clock. Predators know very well that they have a time clock they can easily run out during the often decades of time it takes a victim to come forward and be a survivor. The time is NOW to #StopTheStatute of Limitations on Sex Crimes in every state for children and adults, once and for all. There are no statutes in different states on Forgery, types of Fraud, Murder, Manslaughter, Attempted Murder, Arson, types of DUI accidents, and even in a few on Rape, but a few isn’t good enough-Rape is a life sentence, so should be the time period it takes to report it (which remember does not mean the lack of burden of proof) in order to help deter. The system needs to give survivors the time they need to come to terms with the heinous violation to their body and spirit in order to get closure and justice-How can’t everyone have some common sense, reasonably understand, and get behind that? #metoo#Ibelieveyou#stopthestatute
Oppose the confirmation of Pat Williams
We are the families, friends and supporters of The University of Montana, and the Montana Grizzlies Football team. We are petitioning you to oppose the confirmation of former Governor Brian Schweitzer’s appointment of Mr. Pat Williams to the Board of Regents. We are seeking his removal for statements that were not merely irresponsible, but directly and intentionally damaging to the student athletes and those associated with The University of Montana. Mr. Williams is appointed, and compensated, for his expenses to serve the citizens of our state and the higher education system. The recent public statements impugning the football players and the University not only breaches his duty to responsibly and objectively support the entire higher education system, but worse, it creates yet another highly public and local example of hate speech, social division and inflamed rhetoric. Mr. Williams is an experienced public official who was appointed to serve the citizens of Montana, our University system, and all students, some of whom are athletes. He has breached this responsibility by publicly, and in his capacity as a member of the Board of Regents, labeling our football players as “thugs.” This statement was made with the clear objective to paint a very bad picture of our athletes and the overall integrity of the athletic department at Montana. These young men have dedicated the better part of their lives to achieve this level of collegiate athletics, resulting in nationally recognized academic and athletic excellence. What would you suggest we tell these young men now? That it is acceptable to issue such reckless statements? Does our Governor and Legislature condone such actions? Stating that the football coaches and the University administration are incompetent and irresponsible in their recruiting practices is untrue and damaging to all students and the citizens of our State. These comments are likely to negatively impact the national standing of The University of Montana by hindering fundraising, the ability to attract quality students and teachers, and by tainting our graduates for years to come. Mr. Williams’s statements are now national news. Your decisive action to terminate the appointment of Mr. Williams will also be national news. We encourage you to send a clear message that Montana holds its public officials accountable, that it values its promises to citizens, and that it values the state’s academic institutions, students and student athletes. Your failure to take actions clearly within your power will be correctly viewed as tacit endorsement of Mr. Williams’ statements. The supporters of this request include the individuals listed in the pages that follow and the additional names we will be sending you from our online petition available at
Justice For Jholie! Jholie's Law
The AMBER ALERT originated in the United States in 1996. AMBER is officially a contrived acronym for America's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response, but was named after Amber Hagerman, a 9-year-old abducted and murdered in Arlington, Texas in 1996. A brief description would be something to the effect of: AMBER (America's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response) Alerts are emergency messages broadcasted when a law enforcement agency determines that a child has been abducted and is in imminent danger. The broadcasts include information about the child and the abductor, including physical descriptions as well as information about the abductor's vehicle - which could lead to the child's recovery An AMBER Alert is actually defined as " an emergency response system that disseminates information about a missing child, by media broadcasting or electronic roadway signs." The AMBER Alert™ Program is a voluntary partnership between law-enforcement agencies, broadcasters, transportation agencies, and the wireless industry, to activate an urgent bulletin in the most serious child-abduction cases. There are certain requirements known as "Activation Criteria" that are requested to be met before an AMBER Alert will be issued. These requirements are as follows: 1) There is reasonable belief by law enforcement that an abduction has occurred. 2) The law enforcement agency believes that the child is in imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death. 3) There is enough descriptive information about the victim and the abduction for law enforcement to issue an AMBER Alert to assist in the recovery of the child. 4) The child’s name and other critical data elements, including the Child Abduction flag, have been entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) system AMBER Alerts are approved by law enforcement and issued by broadcasting companies. The key to an AMBER Alert is that it is proven, an ABDUCTION has taken place. The AMBER Alert Initiative is a great system to have in place. However, this Alert does nothing to help children when it can not be proven they were abducted. So what happens when a child is presumed a runaway, when really they were abducted? We do not currently have any Alert System that will notify the general public in situations such as these. JHOLIE'S STORY Jholie Moussa was a sixteen year old female from Alexandria, Virginia, who went missing January 12, 2018, at approximately 1615, after telling her twin sister she would be right back, and walking out of her front door. When Jholie did not return the family got worried, it was not like Jholie to do this kind of thing. The family contacted the police, and after an initial investigation the police department determined that Jholie had ran away willingly, due to the fact that the home security camera caught her walking out the front door on her own. Because she was considered a "runaway" police refused to issue an AMBER Alert for this young lady, because the "ABDUCTION" requirement had not been met even though all other requirements were met, no matter how much the family pleaded with them to issue the alert. They continued their investigation, but not for a missing "endangered" child per say, but for a runaway, which isn't taken no where near as serious, and is not put out to the public. Jholie's family and friends continued searching for her for the next two weeks. Then Jholie's body was found dead in a park less than a mile from her home, behind a tennis court on January, 26th, 2018. The family and friends truly believe that Jholie's life could have been saved, had an AMBER ALERT, or a SIMILAR ALERT been issued the first day to the public. Due to the failure of the system, because of a technical requirement, a beautiful, sweet, intelligent young woman with her whole life ahead of her was taken from this earth and her family WAY TOO SOON! This family is devastated. This young lady could have been found alive! I'm proposing a new law in the United States of America to bring our missing babies home, not just abducted children, but children presumed to be runaways as well. "Jholie's Law." This new law would provide a system of issuing an alert for ALL MISSING CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 18. Not just children in cases where it has to be PROVEN they were abducted. Because in many cases such a Jholie's case, it can not be proven that an abduction happened, when it reality the child was really abducted. Now you have a helpless child who everyone believes it's a runaway, in danger with no one except family and friends looking for them. This does not normally have a good outcome. In these situations if an Alert was established and issued, these children would have a better chance of being found, alive and brought back home to their families. Even though no abduction may have taken place, these children are still at risk. Even runaways are under age, unprotected, unsupervised and their whereabouts are unknown. PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION AND LET THE LAW MAKERS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA KNOW WE REFUSE TO CONTINUE LOSING OUR BABIES DUE TO A TECHNICAL REQUIREMENT IN THE SYSTEM! EVERY CHILD'S LIFE IS IMPORTANT, NOT JUST THE ONES WHO MEET CERTAIN REQUIREMENTS! HOW DO YOU PUT REQUIREMENTS ON SAVING A CHILD'S LIFE! THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT, AND FOR SUPPORTING THIS FAMILY! GOD BLESS YOU!
Replace the Electoral College with a National Popular Vote
It is fundamental to democracy: the candidate with the most votes wins. Yet twice since 2000, the candidate with the most votes for President has lost. The good news is that we can make 2016 the last election in which the popular vote loser wins the presidency – and we can do it without amending the Constitution. We can replace the Electoral College with a national popular vote through the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. Under the Compact, states agree to cast their electoral votes for the national popular vote winner - instead of the winner of their state. Once states with a total of 270 electoral votes approve, the Compact becomes effective. Through the National Popular Vote Compact, the United States can elect a President by popular vote as early as 2020. This is not a pipe dream – states with a combined 165 electoral votes have already enacted it. But in order for the Compact to take effect, and a truly national election to take place, additional states with a combined 105 electoral votes must sign on. If you live in one of the 40 states that have not yet joined, tell your state legislators and governor that you support the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.
A state-based, Constitutional Amendment to Require POTUS Candidates Release their Taxes.
Amendments to the US Constitution can be proposed by two-thirds of state legislatures. This petition urges state legislatures of all 50 states to immediately take up the task of introducing an amendment to the Constitutional that requires: All candidates running for office of the President MUST release their entire tax history including FULL, long form tax returns to be eligible to run for President of the United States of America. Failure to release said documents will prohibitively disqualify a candidate from running for office of The President of the United States of America. This requirement will hold the same weight and importance as "natural born" status. It's vitally important that the President and their finances are free of foreign influence. The practice of releasing tax returns has been a political norm for more than 50 years. It's time now to make it LAW. If state legislatures lead, the national leaders will follow. This petition will be delivered to legislatures in all 50 states.
Stop School Shootings
The year 2018 started not too long ago. About a month ago to be exact. In this short period of time there have been numerous school shootings that have occurred. We speak on this topic all the time. It circles around for awhile while the situation is hot but then it goes away and we never speak about it again..until something like what happened yesterday, February 14, 2018, occurs. When will the madness end? I know I am not alone when I say that I am ready to see something change. I am a high school student myself and this shouldn’t be taken lightly because as we know these mass shootings can occur at any time...and any place. Its time for us to speak up. The youth, the old, the middle aged. No matter what religion, sexual preference, race, age, I know we can all come together and at least attempt to put a stop to this. Please share this with your friends and family. My condolences and prayers go out to anyone that has lost a loved one in the recent shooting or any previous ones as these seem to be nothing but common in the United States. Sign this petition. Share it with your co-workers, your family, friends. Share it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. If a petition about changing Snapchat can get over ONE MILLION signs, let’s see what a petition could do that would actually help change the world. I know there are many of you that think this doesn't mean anything because they will always continue to happen but this is just one small step thats apart of one huge problem. This petition may not change the world, but it's worth a try. -n
OPEN YOUR EYES!!!
Epilepsy and seizure awareness and training.
I have epilepsy and I live in Montana. The care for epilepsy and seizures in this country is seriously lacking. It lacks proper healthcare knowledge, training, and facilities to help people. I have been to the hospital many times since my official diagnosis 2 years ago and I am treated with judgment because ER health care professionals do not know enough to treat patients and go by textbook definitions. Just because it isn't a textbook case or they are afraid to say they don't know what to do doesn't mean a patient deserves less respect. I've had to file complaints about quality of care to hospital administration. I have to point out importance of safety in seizure pads and them not being used all the time with epilepsy patients. This protocol should be observed in every hospital. By not doing so, the hospital is opening themselves up for a huge liability. I believe seizure first aid should be mandatory for all health care professionals and classes made available to the public as an overall safety precaution. A person shouldn't have to travel out of state for decent epilepsy and seizure care. Think of the extra costs and stress on people, not to mention what more it costs private insurance and state aided healthcare. Medicaid pays travel and imagine if a patient didn't need to jump through hoops for proper care and the spared expense for them. This is a serious illness and needs recognized. If awareness isn't brought to this issue, so many will suffer. We need better care, healthcare professionals, and facilities. Just because a person doesn't see it doesn't mean it doesn't exist! Take a stand and be an advocate!!!