Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) has various methods of engaging with its regulated community regarding the content of regulations, including:
- Regulations Interested Parties List: RIDOH maintains a list of interested parties for regulations, which is used to distribute advance notices of proposed rulemaking/community review meetings, public notices of proposed rulemaking/public hearings, and notices of final rulemaking. Please contact the Rules Coordinator in order to request that your name and email address be added to the list. Please note that RIDOH does not maintain separate interested parties lists for individual regulations, so if you request to be added to the list you will receive required notices regarding all of RIDOH’s regulations.
- Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“ANPR”): Also known as “community review,” ANPR allows RIDOH to gather information relevant to the subject matter of a proposed rulemaking, as well as solicit comments and recommendations from the public. This type of community engagement can also include community review meetings, in which RIDOH personnel and the public can have a back and forth discussion on proposed regulations.
- Public Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Every non-technical regulatory revision requires publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking that must provide at least a thirty (30) day public comment period. Such notices must include a short explanation/summary of the proposed revisions, the text of the proposed rule with revisions indicated (typically using track changes), instructions on how to submit public comments, analysis of regulatory overlap/duplication and costs, and an explanation regarding how to request a public hearing.
- Public Hearings: If scheduled, public hearings on proposed regulations always occur within the thirty (30) day comment period of a Public Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. If RIDOH does not schedule a hearing on proposed regulations, members of the public may request such a hearing within ten (10) calendar days of the posting of a Public Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. A stenographer attends every public hearing in order to maintain a precise record of the proceeding, and testimony is limited to those who sign up to speak.
- Concise Explanatory Statements: When RIDOH files final regulations with the Rhode Island Secretary of State (after the required Public Notice of Proposed Rulemaking described above), it is required to issue a concise explanatory statement which contains an explanation of any changes between the text of the regulations posted for public comment and the text of the final rule, and provides RIDOH’s reasons for not accepting revisions suggested during public comment.
- Petition for Rulemaking: Any interested person may petition RIDOH to request the promulgation of new regulations, or the amendment/repeal of existing regulations. The petition must identify the regulation it proposes to amend (if they currently exist), provide language for the suggested change, and state the reason for the amendment. The petitioner will be notified of the disposition of the petition (i.e. denied, approved, scheduling for hearing) within thirty (30) days of receipt of the petition.