TO: All Concerned Persons
1. The Department of Revenue intends to establish a negotiated rulemaking committee and develop proposed rules relating to emergency telephone services.
2. The proposed rules must establish specific guidelines relative to determining how the fees described in 10-4-201, MCA, are to be collected and remitted by prepaid wireless telecommunication providers in a nondiscriminatory and competitively neutral manner and explain how consumers of prepaid wireless telecommunications services are to contribute to basic and enhanced 911 service.
3. Interests that are likely to be significantly affected by the proposed rules include but are not limited to the following entities: wireless telecommunications providers; landline providers; other taxpayers; agencies and members of the public affected by the services supported by the relevant funds collected by the state; and other affected parties.
4. The individuals proposed to represent the department on the negotiated rulemaking committee are: Lee Baerlocher, Business and Income Taxes Division; and Joel Silverman, Legal Services Office. Cleo Anderson, Disclosure, Rules and Policy Officer, Legal Services Office, will serve as hearing examiner for the negotiated rulemaking process.
5. The department is seeking applications from interested parties to serve on the committee.
6. Any individual or entity interested in applying for or nominating another person for membership on the committee must submit the following information in writing to: Cleo Anderson, Department of Revenue, P.O. Box 7701, Helena, Montana 59604-7701, no later than August 15, 2008:
(a) The person's name or the nominee's name, address, and contact information including telephone or fax number or e-mail address.
(b) A description of the interests the person or nominee represents.
(c) Evidence that the person or nominee is authorized to represent parties related to the interests of the persons proposed to be represented.
(d) The relationship of the person or nominee to universal system benefits programs, and the name of the establishment or trade association.
(e) A commitment that the person or nominee will be able to participate in the negotiated rulemaking process as contemplated in paragraph 6 and will actively participate in good faith in the development of the rules under consideration.
(f) The ability of the person or nominee to cover committee participation costs (such as telephone calls, travel, and per diem expenses).
7. Initially, the department proposes to limit the size of the negotiated rulemaking committee to no more than 15 persons. However, after receipt of comments and applications, the department may determine that a smaller or larger number is necessary to adequately represent the interests of the persons significantly affected by the proposed rules.
8. The Director of Revenue, Dan R. Bucks, will select the committee members from the timely submitted applications. One representative will be allowed from each area impacted by the rules, e.g., one from each agency and one from each area of the telecommunications industry. The selected committee members will represent all identified segments of the prepaid wireless telecommunications providers and state and local officials.
9. Members of the public and other interested parties not selected to serve on the committee are invited to attend the meetings and may consult with committee members regarding issues and make recommendations of information to be considered.
10. The proposed working schedule for the negotiated rulemaking committee is as follows:
(a) On July 31, 2008, this notice will be published in the Montana Administrative Register (MAR), and in the five major newspapers in Montana. The notice will also be mailed to persons known to the department to have an interest in this matter. Applications for membership on the negotiated rulemaking committee must be received no later than September 1, 2008.
(b) After receipt and consideration of the comments and applications, the department will establish a negotiated rulemaking committee no later than September 19, 2008. The members selected to serve on the committee must be able to adequately represent the interests of the persons that will be significantly affected by the proposed rules. The committee members will be notified in writing of their selection. Within ten days from the notification of selection, the committee members will be sent an information packet.
(c) The negotiated rulemaking committee will convene its first organizational meeting on October 8, 2008, to begin the negotiation process. At this meeting, subsequent meeting dates will be established. Teleconferencing and e-mail correspondence will be utilized as much as possible for the meetings after the initial organizational meeting. The time and place of the first meeting will be provided to those selected to participate and posted on the department's web site at the time the appointees are notified.
(d) If the negotiated rulemaking committee is successful in achieving a consensus on the proposed rules, the committee will transmit, to the department, a report specifying the areas in which the committee has reached a consensus and the issues that remain unresolved.
(e) Thereafter, and in accordance with Title 2, chapter 4, part 3, MCA (Adoption and Publication of Rules), the department will file with the Secretary of State for publication in the Montana Administrative Register the proposed rules for prepaid wireless telecommunications providers.
(f) The department may seek the assistance and advice of the negotiated rulemaking committee with respect to comments received during the formal rulemaking process.
11. The department will make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities who wish to participate on the committee. If you require an accommodation, please advise the department of the nature of the accommodation you need when applying for membership on the committee.
12. Please note the following concerning the process of negotiated rulemaking:
(a) "Interest" for the purpose of this process means multiple parties that have similar points of view or that are likely to be affected in a similar manner in relationship to matters affected by the rule(s) (2-5-103(5), MCA).
(b) Negotiated rulemaking is not a substitute for the public notification and participation requirements of the Montana Administrative Procedure Act, and a consensus agreement by a negotiated rulemaking committee may be modified by an agency as a result of the subsequent rulemaking process (2-5-102, MCA).
(c) The negotiated rulemaking committee may not continue to function and must be disbanded after the adoption of the final rule(s) (2-5-106(4), MCA).
13. Interested parties may submit their views and comments concerning the proposed negotiated rulemaking process to Cleo Anderson, Department of Revenue, P.O. Box 7701, Helena, Montana 59604-7701, no later than August 15, 2008.
14. The specific grant of rulemaking authority authorizing the department to adopt the proposed rules is found in 15-1-201, 15-30-305, and 15-32-407, MCA. The proposed rules will implement 10-4-201, MCA.
/s/ Cleo Anderson /s/ Dan R. Bucks
CLEO ANDERSON DAN R. BUCKS
Rule Reviewer Director of Revenue
Certified to Secretary of State July 21, 2008