2019 Legislative Priorities

Victory in the fight against cancer requires bold new public policies that promote cancer prevention, early detection of cancer, and expand access to quality, affordable health care. Lawmakers make many decisions that impact the lives of Montana touched by cancer and their leadership is vital to defeating this disease. In 2019, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) will work with the Montana Legislature in support of the following priorities:

Skin Cancer Prevention

  • Indoor Tanning Devices: ACS CAN will advocate for a state law to prohibit the use of indoor tanning devices by those under the age of 18, ensure all consumers are properly informed of their risk prior to use, and require all indoor tanning devices to be properly regulated with effective enforcement provisions in place. 


Reducing the Toll of Tobacco

  • Smoke-free Air:  Implement comprehensive smoke-free policies that include all restaurants, bars, casinos, and non-hospitality workplaces at the state and local level.  ACS CAN will also work to defend existing comprehensive laws and expand laws that are not comprehensive to include prohibiting exposure to aerosol emitted from electronic smoking devices.
  • Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Funding:  ACS CAN will work to fund and sustain evidence-based, statewide tobacco use prevention and cessation programs at $7.5 million annually which is a $3 million annual increase.
  • Tobacco Taxes: ACS CAN will advocate to increase the cigarette tax by $1.50 per pack with an increase in the tax on other tobacco products to parallel the new rate. Increasing the price of cigarettes and all other tobacco products through regular and significant tobacco tax increases helps to keep kids from starting to use tobacco and helps adults quit. 


Cancer Prevention and Early Detection

  • Access to Cancer Screening Services: ACS CAN will advocate to increase funding of $500,000 for Montana Cancer Screening Services program, the state breast and cervical cancer screening for low-income uninsured and underinsured women administered by the Montana Department of Health and Human Services.


Quality of Life

  • Protecting Access to Pain Medication for Cancer Patients: ACS CAN will monitor legislative proposals regarding the prescribing of opioid pain medications and advocate for a balanced approach that promotes safe prescribing and dispensing of pain management medication that does not interfere with access to these medicines for the cancer patients and survivors who need them.


Ensuring Access to Quality Care

  • Medicaid Expansion: ACS CAN will work to protect Medicaid expansion in Montana which includes removal of the sunset of the Montana HELP Act, identify sustainable funding and eliminating barriers for enrollment.


Healthy Eating and Active Living Environments (HEALE)

ACS CAN will work with policymakers to plan, implement, and evaluate HEALE priority issues:

  • Secure funding for infrastructure and programs aimed at increasing physical activity in transportation and recreation.
  • Increase access to healthy foods.

For more information, contact: Kristin Page-Nei, Montana Government Relations Director ACS CAN  

[email protected] /406.360.8752 mobile  


ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem. ACS CAN works to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard.