What you don’t know can hurt you

The old adage "What you don't know can't hurt you" doesn't apply to your knowledge of Administrative Rules. As a member of both the Assembly and Standing Committee on Legislation, I had heard the acronym "JCAR" mentioned at various times. However, I did not investigate beyond determining what the letters meant. "JCAR" is the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules. I learned much more when I volunteered to complete a periodic review of the JCAR activities for the Legislative subcommittee of Women and the Law. This article provides the information that I have learned in my volunteer efforts.

If you practice before any Administrative agency, perform services or need services from a State agency in Illinois, it is in your best interest to become familiar with JCAR. It is easy to obtain the weekly report from the Committee. The weekly report is titled the Flinn Report/Illinois Regulation. You may download it from the Web site or receive it by mail. The regulations are also listed in the Illinois Register produced by the Secretary of State. All agencies of the executive, judicial, and legislative branches of state government are subject to the rulemaking provisions of the Illinois Administrative Procedure Act except the Governor, the General Assembly, the Supreme and Appellate Courts and those agencies specifically exempted by legislation. JCAR is a bipartisan oversight committee which was created by the Illinois General Assembly in 1977. The Joint Committee conducts a systematic review of administrative rules promulgated by state agencies. Twelve legislators are appointed to serve on this committee by the legislative leadership. The current committee consists of Senators J. Bradley Burzynski, James F. Clayborne, Jr., Maggie Crotty, Steve Rauschenberger, Dan Rutherford, Ira Silverstein and Representatives Brent Hassert, Tom Holbrook, David Leitch, Larry McKeon, David Miller, Rosemary Mulligan.

The Flinn Report is distributed on a weekly basis. The report lists the New Regulations, Proposed Regulations and Second Notices of Rulemakings. The section for New Regulations indicates the issue which the regulation addresses and the Department that issued the new regulation. At the conclusion of the information on the new regulation, the name of a contact person is listed to obtain copies of the regulation. The section for Proposed Regulations provides the same information but also concludes with the time period for commenting on the particular regulation. The final section lists the Second Notices for specific regulations and the date when that regulation will appear on the JCAR meeting agenda. This section also lists when it was proposed as well as the section of the Administrative code where the rule will appear in print.

Knowledge is power. Having the knowledge concerning which rules are promulgated by a particular agency allows you the opportunity to support or oppose the regulation. An agency may not understand the practical impact of a rule that is being issued without the expertise of an attorney who practices in the area. As members of the public, it also gives you ability to exercise your right to address issues that will influence the outcome of services to the community.

I began reviewing the Flinn Reports in June of 2004. Due to the volume of regulations, I have only listed the regulations which were published from December 3, 2004 and January 7, 2005. The following list reflects the topic addressed in the rule, the Department promulgating the rule and the date which the Flinn Report discussed the rule.

December 3, 2004

New Regulations

• Nursing Homes - Department of Public Aid

• Child Support - Department of Public Aid

• Mental Illinois - Department of Public Aid

• Motor Fuels - Department of Agriculture

• Adoption Policy - Department of Children and Family Services

• Utilities - Illinois Commerce Commission

• Gifted Students - State Board of Education

• Driver Education - State Board of Education

• Deer Hunting - Department of Natural Resources

• Property Taxes - Department of Revenue

• Library Grants - Secretary of State

• State Employees - State Employees' Retirement System of Illinois

• Commercial Vans - Department of Transportation

• Oversize/Overweight Vehicle Permits - Department of Transportation

• Toll Highway Authority - Illinois State Toll Highway Authority

• Exhibits on State Property - Department of Central Management Services

Proposed Regulations

• Children's Health - Department of Public Health

• Transfer Students - State Board of Education

• Radioactive Materials - Illinois Emergency Management Agency

• Public Assistance - Department of Human Services

• Mental Health Services - Department of Corrections

• Nutrition Labeling - Department of Agriculture

Second Notices

• Medical Payment - Department of Public Aid

• Specialized Health Care Delivery Systems - Department of Public Aid

• Hospital Services - Department of Public Aid

• Medical Assistance Programs - Department of Public Aid

• Issuance of Licenses - Secretary of State

• Repeal of "Rulemaking Procedures" - Department of Transportation

• Specifications for Tank Cars - Department of Transportation

• Procedures for the Department of Human Rights - Department of Human Rights

• Americans with Disabilities Act Grievance Procedure - Department of Human Rights

• Injurious Species - Department of Natural Resources

• Illinois Veteran Grant (IVG) Program - Illinois Student Assistance Commission

• Americans with Disabilities Act Grievance Procedure - Illinois Student Assistance Commission

January 3, 2005

New Regulations

• Public Assistance - Department of Human Services

• Hazardous Materials - Department of Transportation

• State Employees - Department of Central Management Services

• Watercraft Taxes - Department of Revenue

Proposed Regulations

• Waste Disposal - Pollution Control Board

• Medical Assistance - Department of Public Aid

• Farrier Licensing - Illinois Racing Board

• State Treasurer - Illinois State Treasurer

• Railroads - Illinois Commerce Commission

• Mining Rule Withdrawn - Department of Natural Resources

Second Notices

• Public Schools Evaluation, Recognition and Supervision - State Board of Education

• Electrologist Licensing Act - Department of Financial and Professional Regulation

• Manufactured Home Community Code - Department of Public Health

• Illinois Manufactured Home Tiedown Act - Department of Public Health

• Manufactured Home Installation Code - Department of Public Health

• Illinois Modular Dwellings and Mobile Structures Code - Department of Public Health

• Manufactured Home Installer Course Accreditation Code - Department of Public Health

• Income Tax - Department of Revenue

• Claimant's Availability for Work, Ability to Work and Active Search for Work - Department of Employment Security

• Claims, Adjudication, Appeals and Hearings - Department of Employment Security

• Notices, Instructions, Reports to Workers; Inspections - Department of Employment Security

• Disqualifying Income and Reduced Benefits - Department of Employment Security

• Public Use of State Parks and Other Properties of the Department of Natural Resources - Department of Natural Resources.

The list clearly covers a broad cross section of departments and issues. The Flinn Report summarizes each of the rules without indicating a basis for the creation of the rule. Anyone who has a desire to respond to or question any of the rules would need to do an additional investigation to obtain an understanding of the background for any particular rule. In future issues of our newsletter, JCAR, as well as legislative information, will be noted for the members.

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February 2005Volume 10Number 2PDF icon PDF version (for best printing)