Future of Board of Health discussed at joint City and County meeting

Bozz District

City and County Commissioners held a joint meeting Wednesday afternoon to discuss the future of the Board of Health in light of a bill signed by Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte in the spring that limited the authority of local health boards.  This meeting marked the beginning of the commissioners’ discussion […]

City and County Commissioners held a joint meeting Wednesday afternoon to discuss the future of the Board of Health in light of a bill signed by Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte in the spring that limited the authority of local health boards. 

This meeting marked the beginning of the commissioners’ discussion on the topic, and no final decisions were made. However, it was mutually agreed upon that a memorandum of understanding would be added to the current 1975 City-County Health Agreement that would label one of the commissions as the “governing body,” at least temporarily, in order to be in compliance with HB 121. This has yet to be officially decided or implemented.

HB 121 was signed into law by Gianforte in April, requiring a government body in charge of oversight of any local Board of Health, with the ability to override actions taken by the board in response to an emergency. Cascade County and the city of Great Falls won’t be in compliance with HB 121 until the oversight government body has been determined. The health agreement from 1975 stipulated that the city and county have a joint health department and established the Board of Health, which has been honored with little modification since. 

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