_________ Bill No. _______

Introduced By _______________________________________________________________________________



A Bill for an Act entitled: "An Act requiring the commissioner of insurance to establish an administrative appeal process for a provider whose course, lecture, seminar, or instructional program is not approved by the commissioner as submitted; transferring from the commissioner to the advisory council the authority to determine the credit hours to be awarded for the completion of an approved continuing education activity; and amending section 33-17-1204, MCA."



Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Montana:



Section 1.  Section 33-17-1204, MCA, is amended to read:

"33-17-1204.   Review and approval of continuing education courses by commissioner -- advisory council. (1) (a) The commissioner shall, after review by and at the recommendations of the advisory council established under subsection (2), approve only those continuing education courses, lectures, seminars, and instructional programs that the commissioner determines would improve the product knowledge, management, ethics, or marketing capability of the a licensee. Course content, instructors, material, instructional format, and the sponsoring organization must be approved and periodically reviewed by the commissioner. The filing fee, and the process for approval of a course, lecture, seminar, or instructional program, and the administrative appeal process for a provider whose course, lecture, seminar, or instructional program was not approved as submitted must be determined by the commissioner by rule. The commissioner advisory council shall also determine the number of credit hours to be awarded for completion of an approved continuing education activity.

(b) If a course, lecture, seminar, or instructional program submitted by a provider is not approved as submitted, the commissioner shall notify the provider by letter within 20 days of the disapproval. The letter must include the specific reasons for the disapproval. The provider has the right to administratively appeal the disapproval.

(2)  The commissioner shall appoint an advisory council, pursuant to 2-15-122, consisting of one representative of the independent insurance agents of Montana, one representative of the Montana association of life underwriters, one representative of the professional insurance agents of Montana, two public members who are not directly employed by the insurance industry, one insurance producer or consultant not affiliated with any of the three listed organizations, and a nonvoting presiding officer from the department who will be appointed by the commissioner as a representative of the department. The members of the council shall serve a term of 2 years, except that the initial term of the representative from each organization is 3 years. The commissioner shall consult with the council in formulating rules and standards for the approval of continuing education activities and prior to approving specific education activities. The provisions of 2-15-122(9) and (10) do not apply to this council.

(3)  In conducting periodic review of course content, instructors, material, instructional format, or a sponsoring organization, the commissioner may exercise any investigative power of the commissioner provided for in 33-1-311 or 33-1-315.

(4)  If after review or investigation the commissioner determines that an approved continuing education activity is not being operated in compliance with the standards established under this section, the commissioner may revoke approval, place the activity under probationary approval, or issue a cease and desist order under 33-1-318."

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