The Montana Developmental Center survived another close call in the legislature yesterday. The bill to close MDC (SB 254) was originally killed in committee on a bipartisan vote. The bill’s sponsor then succeeded in passing a “blast” motion to bring it to the floor of the House for debate and a vote.
After considerable debate, the House narrowly voted against SB 254. This means MDC will continue to provide crucial services for its residents and jobs for 250 workers.
MDC is a crucial part of the continuum of services for people with intellectual disabilities, mental illness, and severe behavior issues. MDC residents are there because they need the services MDC provides.
Many of MDC’s residents literally have nowhere else to go. No other facility in Montana has the capability to meet their special needs. Many present a danger to themselves and others when they are in the community.
Much of the testimony in favor of closing MDC focused on letting residents live in the “least restrictive environment.” However, for most of these residents, MDC is the least restrictive environment.
The eventual goal is to get residents the services they need so they can eventually be in the community with continued proper treatment.
MEA-MFT worked hard to protect MDC residents, their caregivers, and other Montana citizens by opposing SB 254. Thank you to everyone who helped by contacting their legislators!
News story follows:
Revived MDC Bill Fails – The revival of a bill to phase out the Montana Developmental Center in Boulder was short-lived, as it failed on a 26-to-23 Senate vote Thursday.