Health Advisory Commission

The Montana 67th Legislature passed House Bill 632 which allows for funds provided by the Department of Treasury through the American Rescue Plan Act to be used on public health and human services programs. HB632 created a Health Advisory Commission to recommend how funds allocated to the Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) are to be used.

The Commission meets regularly, and its members include Governor Gianforte’s General Counsel Anita Milanovich, Governor’s Health Policy Advisor Charlie Brereton, Department of Public Health and Human Services Director Adam Meier, Senator Bob Keenan, Senator Carl Glimm, Senator Mary McNally, Representative Frank Garner, Representative Matt Regier, Representative Terry Moore, and Representative Mary Caferro.

Commission meeting information and future meeting dates will appear on this website. DPHHS is tasked with staffing the Commission.

The funding streams reported on this page are only for those programs appropriated through HB632 and funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The funding amounts and reflect only those allocations recommended and approved through the Health Advisory Commission. Some programs have received supplemental funding from sources American Rescue Plan Act or other sources that are not listed here.

Please check this page for updates on programs, open applications, and deadlines. 

For SNAP, the appropriation is to be used for the 15% benefit extension, for administration, and for workforce training through existing programs in the department of labor and industry or through contracted private sector vendors.

SNAP Temporary Increase

15 percent increase in SNAP benefits for all SNAP households for the period of July through September 2021. The estimated cost of this increase is $8,092,089.

SNAP Administration

$2,084,057 in SNAP administration funds. These funds will enable the department to expand the SNAP Employment and Training program across the state. This program assists members of SNAP households to gain skills, training, or work experience necessary to increase their ability to obtain regular employment and earnings. These funds also cover the costs associated with required SNAP programmatic changes during the pandemic.

Summer Pandemic EBT (P-EBT)

$28,125,000 for P-EBT to provide a summer P-EBT benefit of $375 to any child eligible for free or reduced-price school lunch and to any SNAP child ages 0-5.

The Commodity Supplemental Food Program funds are used to administer the program which provides food packages to income eligible persons at least 60 years of age.

Montana was notified that it will not be receiving any CSFP funds through ARPA because it was projected to have a decrease in its CSFP caseload for fiscal year 2022. 

This funding is intended to increase public awareness and prevention of family violence, domestic violence, as well as to provide immediate shelter and supportive services for victims of violence. Currently, FVPSA funding goes directly to Montana Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence and domestic violence shelters across Montana.

$376,207 to the Family Violence Prevention and Service grant to provide shelter and supportive services for victims of family violence, domestic violence, and dating violence.

$1,566,246 in FVPSA supplemental funds to assist shelters and organizations that provide supportive services for victims of family violence, domestic violence, and dating violence to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19 and to address the increased need for their services resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA)

Funding will support prevention, assessment, investigation, prosecution, and treatment activities to improve the child protection services system.

$310,026 in CAPTA funds to expand and enhance Multidisciplinary Teams (MDT) and Children's Advocacy Centers (CAC) in Montana, provide training and technical support to existing MDT and CACs, expand safety science methods to MDTs and CACs, and increase forensic interview trainings.

Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention (CBCAP) Children's Trust Fund

The Montana Children's Trust Fund oversees the federal Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention funding. This funding is intended to support community-based programs and activities to strengthen families and to prevent child abuse and neglect. The Children's Trust Fund Board will identify uses for this additional funding and may administer grants to support community initiatives and projects. Community or state-based providers may submit ideas to the Children's Trust Fund to consider for funding.

$762,432 for the Community Based Child Abuse Prevention funding to be administered by the Children's Trust Fund.

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This funding will support the administration of COVID-19 vaccine to eligible people. State and local and tribal public health departments, community health centers and other public vaccination providers are directly supported. Other entities indirectly supporting this activity may also be funded. This may include participating enrolled providers that offer vaccination services within their scope of practice and who also adhere to COVID-19 vaccine requirements.

COVID-19 Vaccine Supports

$12,831,234 in ARPA funding to the DPHHS Immunization Program to ensure equitable COVID-19 vaccine access and support local vaccination efforts, including outreach to vulnerable populations at increased risk of COVID-19 complications with a priority for counties with low vaccination rates, as consistent with federal law.

COVID-19 Vaccine Confidence

$784,657 for the Department of Public Health and Human Services for COVID-19 vaccine confidence activities (e.g., public education/media) which supplement an existing CDC immunization grant.

Funds will be used to detect, diagnose, trace, and monitor COVID-19 infections by implementing strategies for testing, surveillance, and mitigation of COVID-19. Grants will be given to public health departments for COVID-19 related activities to mitigate the spread of COVID-19; support activities related to COVID-19 tests, including supplies necessary for administering tests such as personal protective equipment (PPE); and expand state and local testing and contact tracing capabilities.

In addition, funding will enhance information technology and data modernization (vital records system), laboratory renovations, and reporting and support for health department to establish, expand, and sustain a public health workforce. Funding has been provided to local and Tribal health departments for additional staff including disease intervention specialist, epidemiologists, sanitarians, and congregate living coordinator positions.

COVID-19 Variant Testing

$1,487,165 for testing of COVID-19 variants.

Detection and Mitigation of COVID-19 in Confinement Facilities

$2,450,000 to DPHHS to provide support, equipment, resources, and supplies to confinement facilities for the detection and mitigation of COVID-19.

Disease Intervention Specialists (DIS)$1,000,000 per year for five years in supplemental STD funding to support the hiring, training, and technical assistance of Disease Intervention Specialists (DIS) to address priority areas of Montana in need of additional DIS personnel to combat and prevent communicable disease, including COVID-19.

ELC Reopening Schools: Support for Screening and Testing to Reopen and Keep Schools Open$46,677,050 to support COVID-19 screening and testing to reopen schools and ensure their safe operation. DPHHS shall issue disbursements on an as-needed basis to ensure enrolled school districts and private schools can access funds in a timely manner in preparation for the 2021-2022 school year. 

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Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity (ELC) for Prevention and Control of Emerging Infectious Diseases: Additional Components

$6,092,014 in the following categories:

  • $449,760 for detection and mitigation of COVID-19 in homeless service sites and community-based residential facilities.
  • $2,749,578 to strengthen healthcare associated infections and antimicrobial resistance (HAI/AR) activities to detect, mitigate, and prevent the spread of COVID-19, other health care associated infections, and the development of antibiotic resistant microorganisms in the health care setting.
  • $1,373,292 for licensed skilled nursing facilities projects and $1,319,384 for other nursing home and long-term care facilities projects to assess the baseline needs of facilities, increase the CNA workforce, provide ongoing infection prevention and control training to facilities, and provide funding to facilities to implement infection control projects.
  • $200,000 for the detection, prevention, and mitigation of COVID-19 through domestic and international travel.

ELC: Strengthen Public Health Laboratory Preparedness$142,473 to purchase specialized laboratory equipment and technology necessary for Montana’s continued participation in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Laboratory Response Network.

Child Care Stabilization Grants

Funding is intended to stabilize the existing child care sector during and after the public health emergency. Funding can support the early childhood workforce and subgrants to providers for personnel, rent, utilities, maintenance, PPE, training, professional development related to health and safety practices, purchases or updates of equipment and supplies, goods and services necessary to maintain or resume services. Funding can also support mental health and health consultation and technical assistance. Child care providers who have been licensed, regulated, or registered under CCDF regulations as of 3/11/21, whether open or closed during the pandemic may be eligible for subgrants. This may include Family, Friend, and Neighbor providers as well.

$6,807,574 (ten percent) for administration and operations within the stabilization funding, with half ($3.4 million) dedicated to providing application assistance, capacity building, technical assistance, and business professional development. If actual expenses exceed $3.4 million, DPHHS shall report to the Interim Budget Committee at the next scheduled meeting.

$61,268,171 for child care stabilization grants for licensed and registered child care providers.

Child Care and Development Block Grant Supplemental Funding

Funding is intended to expand block grant activities for child care in Montana to expand and support child care infrastructure throughout the state, including support for emergency and essential workers child care needs. Funding should prioritize child care deserts, equipment and infrastructure, property improvements, onsite child care, licensing, and employee training and professional development.

$42,477,481 for expanded child care and development block grant uses to fund innovative solution grants; to provide targeted business specialized training, professional development and technical support to early childhood small businesses; to implement business process and regulation improvement recommendations; to pilot CCR&R services in Northeastern/Eastern Montana; to provide temporary child care assistance prioritized for certain health care sector employees; and for direct workforce supports for staff in child care facilities; and to include no more than 5 percent for administrative use.

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This funding is intended to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 at the State Veterans Homes.

Montana Veterans’ Home, Columbia Falls, MT

$1,004,788 to cover the Wander System upgrade, the urgent sewer pipe project, the purchase of vehicles, and the improvements to the HVAC system to increase protection against air borne pathogens and improve air and facility humidity at the Montana Veterans’ Home.

Eastern Montana Veterans’ Home, Glendive, MT

$546,723 to resolve citation issues at the Eastern Montana Veterans’ Home resulting in improved infection control and improve the safety of the resident environment.

This funding is anticipated to be awarded via grant awards targeting general public health needs. Portions of each grant will allow funding to support workforce needs or public health agencies and relevant partners at the state and local level.

Funding would support wages and benefits, related to the recruiting, hiring, and training of individuals to serve as case investigators, contact tracers, social support specialists, community health workers, public health nurses, disease intervention specialists, epidemiologists, program managers, laboratory personnel, informaticians, communication and policy experts, and any other positions as may be required to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID–19 in state, local and NGO settings.

$7,250,870 allocated to Montana for public health workforce capacity enhancement.

Substance Use Block Grant

Montana receives Substance Abuse Block Grant (SABG) funds annually. The funds, along with other state and federal funds, provide substance use disorder (SUD) prevention, treatment, and recovery services to youth and adults at risk for or with a SUD.

$5,640,385 allocated to Montana through the SABG to provide substance use disorder (SUD) prevention, treatment, and recovery services to youth and adults at risk for or with a SUD.

Mental Health Block Grant

Montana receives the Mental Health Block Grant (MHBG) for Community Mental Health Services for adults with serious mental illness (SMI) and children with serious emotional disturbance (SED). These funds are utilized, along with other federal and state funding, to provide comprehensive community mental health services.

$4,372,007 allocated to Montana through the MHBG to provide comprehensive community mental health services.

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

This funding is intended to provide temporary assistance for income eligible Montanans to pay a portion of energy costs or to provide emergency assistance in the case of imminent threat to health and safety of the household, such as furnace repair or replacement. This program also provides weatherization assistance to install energy cost saving measures. Funds can also be used for program administration. These activities are designated in the currently approved Montana LIHEAP State Plan.

$27,134,445 in Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funds. These funds will be used to reduce the energy costs for low-income persons and improve the health and safety of vulnerable populations by increasing the number of weatherized homes, providing a temporary increase in benefit payments, providing a temporary benefit to cover arrearages and emergency payments, and to improve the integration and coordination of LIHEAP with DPHHS's other public assistance programs. There shall be a $3 million cap on spending for IT system upgrades. The department shall spend up to 25% of the allocation on weatherization assistance.

Low Income Home Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP)

This funding will establish a new program to assist low-income households who pay a high proportion of household income for drinking water and wastewater services by providing funds to public water systems or treatment works to reduce arrears of eligible households and to assist with ongoing monthly payments for these services to eligible households.

$1,684,482 in Low-Income Home Water Assistance Program funds. These funds will enable the state to temporarily reduce the home drinking water and wastewater costs for eligible low-income households through September 30, 2023.

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This funding will be provided to the Area Agencies on Aging to support older Americans and families. The Older American's Act will guide the use of funds and a portion will be dedicated to COVID-19 vaccine outreach, education, communication and transportation and/or prevention and mitigation.

Supporting Older Americans and Families, Newsline

$120,000 to the Montana State Library for Newsline from the previously approved funding of $7,304,925 for Supporting Older Americans and Families, in accordance with HB 632 Section 23 (3).

Grants to Enhance Adult Protective Services (APS)

$645,450 to establish three Elder Justice Councils and to establish a forensic investigator, prosecutor, and training team to improve the identification, investigation, and prosecution of adult maltreatment.

Older Americans Act

$7,304,925 to fund supportive services, congregate meals, home delivered meals, preventative health services, family caregiver support, and the long-term care ombudsman.

Funding supports expanding the age of eligibility for food reimbursement in emergency homeless shelters from age 19 to age 25. Meals for young adults up to age 25 in homeless shelters will qualify for reimbursed meals through this funding.

Funding must be used for non-recurrent short-term benefits to families in the form of cash, vouchers, subsidies, or similar form of payment to deal with a specific crisis situation or episode of need. This category may include expenditures such as emergency assistance or a lump sum offered to families in lieu of ongoing assistance. The state will also receive a portion of these funds to administer the program.

$2,733,901 in Pandemic Emergency Assistance Funds to provide one-time payments to individuals in SNAP households with minor children who have become gainfully employed or increased their employment for a period of at least twelve full consecutive weeks.

Funding is intended to increase benefits for fruits and vegetables up to the amount of $35 per month for women and children participating in WIC through September 2021. States may use also funding to pay for associated costs to administer the benefit change. Participating WIC clients will receive the additional benefits directly on their EBT cards.

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Funding is intended to support families with children, birth to three years old, who have developmental delays or disabilities.

$1,218,273 to Montana Milestones/Part C to increase Child Find events and outreach, offer summer bridge activities for three-year-olds, increase Family Outcomes Survey participation, support infant and toddler mental health professional development, conduct an assessment with recommendations addressing how best to serve children with special needs, and to the extent allowable by federal law, to provide funding for workforce bonuses.

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For nursing home and hospital-based swing bed payments, DPHHS will allocate $15 million to nursing home facilities and facilities with hospital-based swing beds by the later of May 31, 2021, or 15 days after the receipt of federal funds from the American Rescue Plan Act. The allocation will be made based on the number of Medicaid patient days each facility had from January 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020. It is the intent of the legislature that no additional supplemental funds be allocated to nursing homes and facilities with hospital-based swing beds.
For the provider rate study, the department of public health and human services will study the impact of COVID-19 on providers and make recommendations to adjust rates, if necessary, to reflect impacts to providers in an effort to maintain services.