Montana Administrative Register Notice 24-21-302 No. 11   06/11/2015    
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In the matter of the amendment of ARM 24.21.1003 pertaining to apprenticeship training ratios






TO: All Concerned Persons


          1. On April 16, 2015, the Department of Labor and Industry (department) published MAR Notice No. 24-21-302 regarding a public hearing on the proposed amendment of the above-stated rule at page 363 of the 2015 Montana Administrative Register, Issue No. 7. On April 30, 2015, the department published an amended notice of public hearing at page 405 of the 2015 Montana Administrative Register, Issue No. 8.


          2. On May 11, 2015, at 10:00 a.m., the department held a public hearing in the auditorium of the DPHHS Building, 111 North Sanders, Helena, Montana, to consider the proposed amendment of the above-stated rule. Various members of the public attended and commented on the proposed amendments. In addition, one member of the public submitted written comments.


          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: Several commenters expressed support for the proposed rule amendments exactly as the amendments were drafted and proposed.


Response 1: The department acknowledges the comments.


Comment 2: A commenter objected to the 1:2 apprentice-to-journeyman ratio, and suggested that a 1:1 ratio would make it easier for an apprentice to get sufficient hours in order to timely complete an apprenticeship. The commenter appeared to suggest that the issue was related to when the apprenticeship program was sponsored by a labor union and used a 1:2 ratio, apprentices could not obtain sufficient hours to timely complete the apprenticeship.


Response 2: The department concludes that the proposed amendments of ARM 24.21.1003(4) make it more likely that an apprentice will keep on track for the timely completion of the apprenticeship, as the department will more closely monitor the progress of apprentices. The department believes that the commenter may misunderstand the effect of the recent amendments to ARM 24.21.1003 which allow an apprentice who has made sufficient progress in both hours of training and in related instruction to be excluded from the 1:2 ratio requirement. The recent amendments, in the department's judgment, have already addressed many of the concerns expressed by the commenter. 

The department also notes that the subject of the ratio is not a part of the present rulemaking proposal. To the extent that the commenter intended to comment directly on the recent amendments to the ratio (see MAR Notice No. 24-21-301, published on December 11, 2014, on page 2920 of the 2014 Montana Administrative Register, Issue No. 23), the comments are untimely because that comment period on the numerical ratio has been closed for several months. 


          4. The department has amended ARM 24.21.1003 as proposed.




Mark Cadwallader                       Pam Bucy, Commissioner

Alternate Rule Reviewer              DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND INDUSTRY


Certified to the Secretary of State June 1, 2015


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