This week, CMC Missoula, Inc. submitted a new proposal to the Attorney General’s Office for using the approximately $74 million in charitable assets produced as a result of Billings Clinic and Regional Care Hospital Partners acquisition of the former non-profit Community Medical Center.

Spokesman John Barnes said that Attorney General Tim Fox approved the sale of CMC to RCHP/Billings but not the original proposal for use of the charitable assets. CMC later withdrew that proposal and requested a deadline extension to September 20, 2015, for submitting a new proposal.

"They had put together a proposal of how to use those assets and we didn't approve it," Barnes said. "We didn't reject it, either, but they withdrew it before we could complete the process. They wanted more time to reconsider the proposal and they asked for a deadline of September 20th, and they gave us their proposal on September 2nd."

The new proposal would direct all charitable assets to a new foundation to be known as the Missoula Community Hospital Legacy Foundation. If approved by the Attorney General’s Office, the new foundation will be a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization “for the purpose of promoting health and healthcare services to the public in … western Montana,” according to the proposal.

Though not required to do so by law, the Attorney General’s Office asked for public comments during the review of both the proposed purchase and the original charitable asset proposal. Today, Barnes said, Attorney General Fox invited public comment on the new asset proposal.

"We have an approximately 30-day period for people to submit those comments on our website, or in writing," he said. "We'll be looking at this proposal and having discussions with CMC, Inc and we really want to hear from the public on this."

Barnes would put no closing date on taking comments, but wants to take all the time necessary.

"We feel it's very necessary for us to do this, because we know this whole issue is so crucial to Missoulians," Barnes said. "They're passionate about this and there are strong feelings both ways on the whole issue of the transaction and how the money should be used."