Montana State Alliance of YMCAs
Montana State Alliance 2017 Legislative Priorities

A. Ensuring opportunities for all Montanans to adopt and sustain healthy lifestyles.

  1. Ensure that the Montana State Alliance of YMCAs is invited to participate in any state level discussion on combating childhood obesity.
  2. Ensure that adequate state and federal resources are available to support current, and an increase in, chronic disease prevention programs throughout the state.
  3. Urge the state legislature to consider a tax incentive to health insurers to provide reimbursement of fees associated with organizations such as the YMCA that provide recognized physical activity and  health and wellness opportunities for Montanans.
  4. Urge the Legislature to prioritize community development funding to projects that support and improve opportunities for physical activity.
  5. Support collaboration with the Department of Public Health to expand the reach of EnhancedFitness, as an evidence-based arthritis management program for seniors and older adults seeking better wellbeing.

B. Monitor legislation which affects the YMCA mission

  1. Support legislation that protects youth, parents, organizations and volunteers in the area of concussions.
  2. Support the Early Edge program to provide high-quality early care and education. Position the YMCAs as an important collaborator and provider of this service, working to close the achievement gap.
  3. Monitor proposed legislation that may reduce the effects of childhood hunger.
  4. Monitor legislation that may affect non-profit tax exempt status.
  5. Monitor primary seat belt law.

C. Providing support for families and youth so they will develop to their fullest potential.

  1. Lend support to an incentive program for licensed childcare programs that will encourage an increase in the quality of care provided for children.
  2. Support funding to ensure that children from low income households have the same access to high quality childcare as others.
  3. Support nutritional standards in childcare and after school programs to ensure that all children are provided nutritional food and beverages, limited screen time and daily physical activity.
  4. Support state reimbursement to low income families for after school fees.
  5. Monitor state legislative and/or regulations to meet implementation of new CCDBG quality standards and requirements.

D. Ensuring that families strengthen relationships and spend quality time together.

  1. Support classes and efforts that improve Parenting Skills.
  2. Support classes and efforts that improve Adult Literacy.
  3. Support classes and efforts that improve Financial Education.

E. Demonstrate and effectively communicate local and state-wide YMCA community benefit.

  1. Using data developed to measure our community impact, engage legislators to become champions of the YMCA in Montana and ask them to oppose any language that would levy a tax on the YMCA or ask the YMCA to collect taxes from its members and participants.
  2. Ensure that local Resort Tax ordinances exempts local not for profit, community service organizations.

F. Support YMCA of the USA Federal advocacy efforts, including primarily:

  1. Support Child Protection Improvement Act
  2. Support Medicare Diabetes Prevention Act (S.1131/H.R. 2102) and support increased funding for CDC’s National Diabetes Prevention Program to grow the capacity to deliver the program nationwide.
  3. Reauthorize the Child Nutrition Act (CNA) to increase access to summer and afterschool snack and meal programs and streamline childhood hunger programs
  4. Increase important investments in 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) at $1.3 billion.
  5. Provide at least $2.76 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG)
  6. Maintain critical access to Head Start programs at $9.168 billion
  7. Increase funding for the Youth Mentoring Program at $120 million.
  8. Maintain funding levels for youth employment programs authorized in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) including $873 million for Title I and $84.5 million for YouthBuild.
  9. Support $16 million for the Arthritis program at CDC.
  10. Support $5 million for Million Hearts at CDC.
  11. Other priorities identified by YUSA Government Relations Office