Montana Administrative Register Notice 8-99-205 No. 24   12/22/2023    
Prev Next




In the matter of the adoption of NEW RULE I pertaining to the administration of the Montana Growth Fund, a part of the Big Sky Economic Development Program










TO: All Concerned Persons


1. On January 11, 2024, at 10:30 a.m., the Department of Commerce (department) will hold a public hearing via zoom to consider the proposed adoption of the above-stated rule.






2. The department will make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities who wish to participate in this process or need an alternative accessible format of this notice.  If you require accommodation, please contact the department by 5:00 p.m. on January 9, 2024, to advise us of the nature of the accommodation that you are requesting.  Please contact the Department of Commerce, 301 South Park Avenue, P.O. Box 200501, Helena, Montana, 59620-0501; telephone (406) 841-2596; fax (406) 841-2771; TDD (406) 841-2702; or e-mail docadministrativerules@mt.gov.


3. The proposed new rule is as follows:


NEW RULE I ( 8.99.1101)  INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE OF GUIDELINES FOR ADMINISTRATION OF THE MONTANA GROWTH FUND, A PART OF THE BIG SKY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM (1)  The department adopts and incorporates by reference the Program Guidelines for the Montana Growth Fund, a part of the Big Sky Economic Development Program (MGF).

(2)  The guidelines establish how the department will administer the MGF Program.

(3)  As stated in the guidelines, the department will consider eligible applicants' proposals to obtain MGF funding for economic development projects in the form of:

(a)  low-interest loans;

(b)  forgivable loans; and

(c)  grants (collectively, MGF funding).

(4)  The guidelines state what applicants must submit to the department to be considered for MGF funding.

(5)  The guidelines set matching requirements applicants must meet to obtain MGF funding.

(6)  The guidelines set the factors the department considers when assessing MGF applications, including incentives for rural counties.

(7)  The guidelines identify how successful applicants may use MGF funding.

(8)  Copies of the guidelines may be obtained from the department's Business MT Division, 301 South Park Avenue, P.O. Box 200528, Helena, Montana 59620-0528, or on the department's web site at https://business.mt.gov.


AUTH: 90-1-204, MCA

IMP:  90-1-204, MCA


REASON: The proposed rule is necessary to implement and administer the MGF in accordance with HB 881, which was enacted by the 2023 Montana Legislature.


HB 881 directs the department to provide MGF funding to eligible applicants for economic development projects from the special revenue account established by 90-1-205, MCA.  HB 881 identifies what information eligible applicants must provide to the department to be eligible for MGF funding, including cost estimates and matching funds.  See 90-1-204, MCA.  HB 881 also directs the department to award MGF funding to advance certain Legislative goals.  See 90-1-202 through 90-1-204, MCA.  HB 881 further provides that recipients of MGF funding only may use the funds for certain purposes.  See 90-1-204, MCA.  Finally, HB 881 permits the department to provide greater incentives for rural counties. Id.


The department proposes adopting NEW RULE I, which incorporates by reference the MGF Program Guidelines.  The proposed MGF guidelines are consistent with HB 881.  The proposed MGF guidelines and other relevant information and resources can be reviewed on the department's web site at https://business.mt.gov.  Interested persons may comment on the guidelines in accordance with this notice.


Adopting the guidelines is necessary to provide public notice on how the department plans to administer the MGF program, as further described in HB 881.


4. Concerned persons may present their data, views, or arguments either orally or in writing at the hearing. Written data, views, or arguments may also be submitted to: Department of Commerce, Legal Department, 301 South Park Avenue, P.O. Box 200501, Helena, Montana 59620-0533; telephone (406) 841-2596; fax (406) 841-2871; TDD (406) 841-2702; or e-mail DOCAdminstrativerules@mt.gov, and must be received by 5:00 p.m. on January 19, 2024.


5. The department's Office of Legal Affairs will preside over and conduct this hearing.


6. The department maintains a list of interested persons who wish to receive notices of rulemaking actions proposed by this agency.  Persons who wish to have their name added to the list shall make a written request that includes the name, e-mail, and mailing address of the person to receive notices and specifies for which program the person wishes to receive notices.  Notices will be sent by e-mail unless a mailing preference is noted in the request.  Written requests may be mailed or delivered to the contact person in paragraph 4 or may be made by completing a request form at any rules hearing held by the department.


7. The requirements of 2-4-302, MCA, apply and have been fulfilled.  The primary bill sponsor, Representative Edward Buttrey, was contacted on December 12, 2023, by e-mail at Ed.Buttrey@legmt.gov.


8. With regard to the requirements of 2-4-111, MCA, the department has determined that the amendment of the above-referenced rule will not significantly and directly impact small businesses.



/s/ John Semmens____________                                    /s/ Mandy Rambo____________ 

JOHN SEMMENS                                                             MANDY RAMBO

Rule Reviewer                                                                  Deputy Director

                                                                                          Department of Commerce



Certified to the Secretary of State December 12, 2023.

Home  |   Search  |   About Us  |   Contact Us  |   Help  |   Disclaimer  |   Privacy & Security