BEFORE THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND INDUSTRY
OF THE STATE OF MONTANA
In the matter of the amendment of ARM 24.29.3114, 24.29.3117, and 24.29.3127 pertaining to workers' compensation petitions for reopening
NOTICE OF AMENDMENT
TO: All Concerned Persons
1. On August 6, 2021, the Department of Labor and Industry (department) published MAR Notice No. 24-29-374 pertaining to the public hearing on the proposed amendment of the above-stated rules at page 978 of the 2021 Montana Administrative Register, Issue Number 15.
2. The department held a public hearing in Helena on September 9, 2021, over the Zoom videoconference and telephonic platform at which no members of the public commented. The department received written comments during the public comment period.
3. The department has thoroughly considered the comments made. A summary of the comments and the department's responses are as follows:
COMMENT 1: One commenter noted that the proposed amendments were effective implementation of House Bill 199 and supported the rule changes.
RESPONSE 1: The department appreciates the comment and it is noted.
COMMENT 2: One commenter noted that joint petitioners might agree that medicals could remain open for a period less than two years. They suggested the silence of the rule as to that fact could prove problematic.
RESPONSE 2: The department appreciates the comment and the concern. The statutory changes effectuated by House Bill 199 do not prohibit a joint petition from agreeing to a period of less than two years for reopening. Similarly, nothing in present or proposed rule bars such an agreement. This explanation was also shared with stakeholders during rule development. The department does not believe further clarification by rulemaking is necessary as to this issue.
4. The department has amended ARM 24.29.3114, 24.29.3117, and 24.29.3127 as proposed.
/s/ Quinlan L. O'Connor
Quinlan L. O'Connor
Alternate Rule Reviewer
/s/ Laurie Esau
Laurie Esau, Commissioner
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND INDUSTRY
Certified to the Secretary of State September 14, 2021.