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January 26, 2022

January 26, 2022
Commissioners Scott Miller, Scott Blain, and Bill Bullock; and Administrative Officer Angela Newell were present.
11:15 Meeting with Governor Gianforte. Clerk and Recorder Christine Stovall and Sheriff Josh McQuillan were present. Discussed detention challenges with regard to mental health (75% of YCDF inmates have mental health issues including addiction). Gianforte is looking at alternatives including treatment court; the State has implemented six new drug courts. Also evaluating how to get early treatment/diversion to keep people out of jail. Gianforte discussed the limits at Rimrock for number of beds for Medicaid; his office is looking at options to implement a waiver with the Federal Government to allow more Medicaid beds to get people into treatment earlier and take pressure off the jails. Gianforte discussed the need for skill development and reentry assistance for inmates to reduce recidivism. Gianforte discussed the HEART Fund Program for addiction services and will provide grants to non-profits and NGOs. Gianforte has also implemented a Faith and Community Services Coordinator to work with faith based and other groups that provide addiction services. He plans to have a summit in the first half of 2022. Gianforte and McQuillan discussed the Angel Initiative which is designed to improve access and entry point into substance abuse treatment.
Commissioners discussed the Office of Public Assistance moving to Billings and their concerns about Child Protective Services also being centralized.
Discussed the Federal Infrastructure Bill, Gianforte is concerned that there are no provisions for extensions or increasing capacity.
Discussed recreational marijuana rules and concerns with dispensary across from the Roberts School.
Discussed workforce development and apprenticeship programs. (Sarah Swanson). Discussion regarding various workforce pipelines that are being created through a partnership between private companies and higher education.
12:00 Adjourned.

Respectfully submitted: Angela Newell, Administrative Officer