BEFORE THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
OF THE STATE OF MONTANA
In the matter of the adoption of New Rules I through VI relating to the Nursery Program
NOTICE OF ADOPTION
TO: All Concerned Persons
1. On January 26, 2012, the Department of Agriculture published MAR Notice No. 4-14-201 pertaining to the public hearing on the proposed adoption of the above-stated rules at page 150 of the 2012 Montana Administrative Register, Issue Number 2.
2. On February 16, 2012, a public hearing was held in Helena concerning the proposed adoption. The department received comments from seven individuals, making only six comments. Many comments were repeated in some form by multiple commenters.
3. The department has thoroughly considered the comments and testimony received. A summary of the comments received and the department's responses are as follows:
COMMENT #1: Nursery Program should be paid using general funds.
RESPONSE #1: Only the Legislature may allow general funds to be used for a program. This program received no general funds last session.
COMMENT #2: Nursery Program should have additional risk categories.
RESPONSE #2: The current categories create a time range from 1-3 years with the possibility of more inspections for the most risky. Creating a risk criterion with additional levels would complicate the process of classification while providing no additional useful distinction.
COMMENT #3: There are inconsistencies between the justification indicating inspections every other year for low risk and the rule indicating every three years.
RESPONSE #3: This was a mistake. The rule language indicating every three years is correct.
COMMENT #4: Nursery industry groups should be allowed to comment before the director makes any finding on a reclassification of risk.
RESPONSE #4: Because the nursery industry is made of numerous groups, it would be hard to create a rule that would guarantee proper input, but as with all government action the department will allow for public comment and industry groups are encouraged to provide it.
COMMENT #5: The hourly rate is too high.
RESPONSE #5: The rate is calculated to cover the expenses of the program. Without a rate at the amount set by the proposed rule, the program would run a deficit.
COMMENT #6: There should be no exceptions or exclusions from the law (i.e. all nursery growers/sellers should be subject to the same law and fee structure).
RESPONSE #6: This would require a change to the law and cannot be done by rule.
4. The department has adopted the following rules as proposed: New Rule I (4.12.1433), II (4.12.1434), III (4.12.1435), IV (4.12.1436), V (4.12.1437), and VI (4.12.1438).
/s/ Cort Jensen /s/ Ron de Yong
Cort Jensen Ron de Yong
Rule Reviewer Director
Department of Agriculture
Certified to the Secretary of State April 2, 2012