A legislative committee will meet by videoconference on Aug. 12 to review draft materials for a poll it must conduct on whether a proposed state agency rule to ban flavored vaping products meets legislative intent.
Twenty legislators have notified the Children, Families, Health, and Human Services Interim Committee that they object to the rule. The objections automatically triggered a poll of the entire Legislature.
The committee will meet at 3 p.m. on Aug. 12 to review the laws governing rule-related polls and to review draft polling materials. The committee is required by law to conduct the poll because the committee is responsible for legislative review of rules proposed by the Department of Public Health and Human Services.
DPHHS proposed the rule on June 26, citing a state law that allows the agency to adopt rules regarding "the reporting and control of communicable diseases and other conditions of public health importance." The proposed rule said the ban was needed because youth vaping "presents a condition of public health importance in Montana because it exposes youth to numerous adverse health effects."
The public comment period on the proposed rule closed on July 24. The rule will become effective on the date DPHHS files a formal notice adopting the rule.
The legislative poll will not delay or stop the rulemaking process. Instead, the results of the poll must be published in the Montana Administrative Register along with the adopted rule. If a majority of legislators from both the House and the Senate find that the rule is contrary to the intent of the Legislature, the rule must be presumed to be contrary to legislative intent in any lawsuit challenging its validity.
An agenda and other materials related to the poll, including instructions for public participation in the videoconference meeting, are available on the Meeting Information page of the committee's website, www.leg.mt.gov/cfhhs, or by contacting committee researcher Sue O'Connell at 444-3597 or firstname.lastname@example.org.