(1) In accordance with 2-3-102 through 2-3-114, MCA, prior to making a final decision that is of significant interest to the public, the agency shall afford reasonable opportunity for public participation. Reasonable opportunity for public participation may be afforded by:

(a) any of the agency actions allowed pursuant to 2-3-104, MCA; or

(b) a notice of the proposed agency action published in the register in accordance with template 102a (https://sosmt.gov/arm/templates). The agency may grant or deny an opportunity for hearing, except a hearing is required if the proposed action is the adoption of rules in an area of significant interest to the public.

(2) For purposes of (1)(b) only, significant interest to the public is defined at 2-4-102, MCA, as matters an agency knows to be of widespread citizen interest.

(3) Public comment on any public matter within the jurisdiction of an agency must be allowed at any public meeting. See 2-3-103(1)(b), 2-3-202, and 2-3-203, MCA, for definitions of "public matter" and "meeting" and for the requirements applicable to opening and closing meetings to the public. The opportunity for public comment must be reflected on the meeting agenda and incorporated into the official minutes of the meeting. For purposes of this rule and 2-3-103(1)(b), MCA, contested case is defined at 2-4-102(4), MCA.


History: 2-4-202, MCA; IMP, 2-3-103, 2-4-202, 2-4-302, MCA; Eff. 12/24/77; AMD, 1979 MAR p. 1200, Eff. 10/12/79; AMD, 1981 MAR p. 1196, Eff. 10/16/81; AMD, 1999 MAR p. 1225, Eff. 6/4/99; AMD, 2004 MAR p. 2806, Eff. 11/19/04; AMD, 2005 MAR p. 258, Eff. 2/11/05; AMD, 2008 MAR p. 1593, Eff. 8/1/08.