(a) The commissioner shall provide technical assistance to parties interested in establishing or operating a community integrated service network. This shall be known as the community integrated service network technical assistance program (CISNTAP).
The technical assistance program shall offer seminars on the establishment and operation of community integrated service networks in all regions of Minnesota. The commissioner shall advertise these seminars in local and regional newspapers, and attendance at these seminars shall be free.
The commissioner shall write a guide to establishing and operating a community integrated service network. The guide must provide basic instructions for parties wishing to establish a community integrated service network. The guide must be provided free of charge to interested parties. The commissioner shall update this guide when appropriate.
The commissioner shall establish a toll-free telephone line that interested parties may call to obtain assistance in establishing or operating a community integrated service network.
(b) The commissioner shall grant loans for organizational and start-up expenses to entities forming community integrated service networks, or to networks less than one year old, to the extent of any appropriation for that purpose. The commissioner shall allocate the available funds among applicants based upon the following criteria, as evaluated by the commissioner within the commissioner's discretion:
(1) the applicant's need for the loan;
(2) the likelihood that the loan will foster the formation or growth of a network; and
(3) the likelihood of repayment.
The commissioner shall determine any necessary application deadlines and forms.