2-3-301. Agency to accept public comment electronically -- dissemination of electronic mail address and documents required -- fees prohibited. (1) An agency that accepts public comment pursuant to a statute, administrative rule, or policy, including an agency adopting rules pursuant to the Montana Administrative Procedure Act or an agency to which 2-3-111 applies, shall provide for the receipt of public comment by the agency by use of an electronic mail system.
(2) As part of the agency action required by subsection (1), an agency shall disseminate by appropriate media its electronic mail address to which public comment may be made, including dissemination in:
(a) rulemaking notices published pursuant to the Montana Administrative Procedure Act;
(b) the telephone directory of state agencies published by the department of administration;
(c) any notice of agency existence, purpose, and operations published on the internet; or
(d) any combination of the methods of dissemination provided in subsections (2)(a) through (2)(c).
(3) An agency shall, at the request of another agency or person and subject to 2-6-1003, disseminate the electronic documents to that agency or person by electronic mail in place of surface mail. Notification of the availability of an electronic notice of proposed rulemaking may be sent to an interested person as provided in 2-4-302(2)(a)(ii). An agency may not charge a fee for providing documents by electronic mail in accordance with this subsection.
(4) An agency that receives electronic mail pursuant to subsection (1) shall retain the electronic mail as either an electronic or a paper copy to the same extent that other comments are retained.
(5) As used in this section, "agency" means a department, division, bureau, office, board, commission, authority, or other agency of the executive branch of state government.