BEFORE THE DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATION
OF THE STATE OF MONTANA
In the matter of the adoption of New
Rule I pertaining to public meetings
NOTICE OF PROPOSED ADOPTION
NO PUBLIC HEARING CONTEMPLATED
TO: All Concerned Persons
1. On June 25, 2022, the Department of Administration proposes to adopt the above-stated rule.
2. The department will make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities who wish to participate in this rulemaking process or need an alternative accessible format of this notice. If you require an accommodation, contact the department no later than 5:00 p.m. on May 25, 2022, to advise us of the nature of the accommodation that you need. Please contact Julie James, Department of Administration, P.O. Box 200101, Helena, Montana 59620-0101; telephone (406) 444-2460; Montana Relay Service 711, facsimile (406) 444-6194; or e-mail to Julie.James2@mt.gov.
3. The rule proposed to be adopted provides as follows:
NEW RULE I PUBLIC MEETINGS (1) Except as otherwise provided in 2-3-104, MCA, when the department holds a meeting as defined in 2-3-202, MCA, the department shall:
(a) post meeting or hearing notices, including advisory council and board meetings, a week or more ahead of time, but never less than 72 hours;
(b) post the meeting or hearing notice on the state's electronic calendar and on other appropriate locations on the department's website;
(c) provide personal notification (e.g., email) to those who have previously shown an interest in the matter;
(d) include adequate details of any proposed action;
(e) include a full agenda for any meeting or hearing with a time allotted for public comment;
(f) include a contact name, address, phone number, mailing, and email addresses for persons with disabilities who wish to participate in the public meeting; and
(g) incorporate public comment received at the meeting in the official minutes of the meeting.
(2) The department may hold meetings electronically or by other means of remote communication, so long as public participation is allowed as provided under Montana laws.
(3) The department may record meetings and use meeting recordings as official minutes as provided in 2-3-212, MCA.
AUTH: 2-3-103, 2-4-201, MCA
IMP: 2-3-103, MCA
STATEMENT OF REASONABLE NECESSITY: The department is proposing this rule to adopt public participation guidelines which have been in place for years but not formally adopted into rule. This rule is intended to ensure that the public has a reasonable opportunity to participate in the department's deliberations and decisions that are of significant public interest.
4. Concerned persons may present their data, views, or arguments concerning the proposed action to the person listed in paragraph 2 above. Comments must be received no later than 5:00 p.m., June 10, 2022.
5. If persons who are directly affected by the proposed action wish to express their data, views, or arguments orally or in writing at a public hearing, they must make written request for a hearing and submit this request along with any written comments to the person listed in paragraph 2 above no later than 5:00 p.m., May 25, 2022.
6. If the department receives requests for a public hearing on the proposed action from 25 persons directly affected by the proposed action; from the appropriate administrative rule review committee of the Legislature; from a governmental subdivision or agency; or from an association having not less than 25 members who will be directly affected, a hearing will be held at a later date. Notice of the hearing will be published in the Montana Administrative Register. Ten percent of those directly affected has been determined to be greater than 25 based on the number of citizens in Montana.
7. An electronic copy of this proposal notice is available through the department's website at doa.mt.gov/administrative rules. The department strives to make its online version of the notice conform to the official published version but advises all concerned persons that if a discrepancy exists between the official version and the department's online version, only the official text will be considered. In addition, although the department works to keep its website accessible at all times, concerned persons should be aware that the website may be unavailable during some periods, due to system maintenance or technical problems.
8. The department maintains a list of interested persons who wish to receive notices of rulemaking actions proposed by this division. Persons who wish to have their name added to the mailing list shall make a written request that includes the name, mailing address, and e-mail address of the person to receive notices and specifies that the person wishes to receive notices regarding division rulemaking actions. Notices will be sent by e-mail unless a mailing preference is noted in the request. Such written requests may be mailed or delivered to the person listed in paragraph 2 above or may be made by completing a request form at any rules hearing held by the department.
9. The bill sponsor contact requirements of 2-4-302, MCA, do not apply.
10. The department has determined that under 2-4-111, MCA, the proposed adoption of the above-stated rule will not significantly and directly impact small businesses.
By: /s/ Misty Ann Giles By: /s/ Don Harris
Misty Ann Giles, Director Don Harris, Rule Reviewer
Department of Administration Department of Administration
Certified to the Secretary of State May 3, 2022.