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From the Commissioner…


July 2, 2015

Dear Fellow Montanan: 

I last wrote on May 21 and much has happened since. First, the COPP has moved, combining its seven staff into a single, larger house on 8th Avenue in Helena. The COPP's new address is 1209 8th Avenue, one house to the east of its former location at 1205 8th Avenue.

Second, on June 30 a team of attorneys and COPP staff completed the internal vetting process for COPP rulemaking related to Montana's new Disclose Act, Senate Bill 289. Jaime MacNaughton and Anne Sherwood have assembled the internally vetted draft SB 289-related rules into a packet that is now available for review by any interested person. Please contact this Office if you would like to receive that packet of draft rules.

The draft COPP rules will become proposed COPP rules when published as proposed rules by the Montana Secretary of State. The tentative scheduled date for proposed rule publication is July 30, 2015, with hearing dates tentatively scheduled on the proposed rules for August 19 and 20, 2015 in the State Capital in Helena.

Any interested Montanan can, of course, comment on the proposed COPP rules either in writing or at the hearing. At this time the COPP is also open to an informal pre-publication vetting of its current draft rules. The COPP can accept and respond to any such vetting occurring on or before July 15, 2015. After July 15 the draft rules will need to be offered as proposed rules in order to meet the publication deadline. Again, please contact this office if you would like the set of SB 289 draft rules. We have established an email address for rulemaking:

Third, I have been frequently asked about the COPP's current budget and staffing, given the substantial attention afforded the COPP by the 2015 legislature. The answer is that in the end the COPP came out OK, with its budget and 7 staff fully funded.

Yesterday I was able to return to work on pending complaints. The office is not entirely back to normal work, though. Jaime MacNaughton will need to stay primarily focused on the COPP rule-making as she is responsible for guiding the proposed rules through publication, public comment and adoption.

Thank you for your attention paid to work of the COPP. Please feel free to stop and visit our new offices.


Jonathan Motl

Commissioner of Political Practices



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