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    Document Summary
    - Report Published -

    Report Document No. 25

    Document Title
    Recommendations of the Commission on Action Based on its Review of any Proposed Rule or Regulation

    Joint Commission on Administrative Rules

    Enabling Authority

    Executive Summary
    2004 Summary of Activities

    Created by the 2003 Session of the General Assembly, the Joint Commission on Administrative Rules is charged with reviewing agency regulations during the promulgation process to determine if they are authorized by law or in compliance with legislative intent. In addition, the Commission may review the impact of any proposed or existing regulation on the economy and affected businesses, the state's natural resources, and the operations of state and local government. The Commission is comprised of seven members of the House of Delegates and five members of the Senate. Senator Frank W. Wagner serves as the Chair of the Commission and Delegate H. Morgan Griffith serves as the Vice-Chair.

    The Commission's four meetings during the 2004 interim include: (i) January 13, 2004, General Assembly Building, Richmond, Virginia; (ii) April 20, 2004, General Assembly Building, Richmond, Virginia; (iii) September 8, 2004, Boys' Home in Covington, Virginia; and (iv) January 11, 2005, General Assembly Building, Richmond, Virginia.

    The following is a brief overview of the regulations the Commission addressed during its 2004 interim meetings:

    State Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services


    Repealing 2 VAC 5-500, Rules and Regulations Governing the Cooling, Storing, Sampling, and Transporting of Milk or Milk Samples from the Farm to the Processing Plant or Laboratory, and adding 2 VAC 5-501, Regulations Governing the Cooling, Storing, Sampling, and Transporting of Milk.

    Repealing 2 VAC 5-530, Rules and Regulations Governing the Production, Handling, and Processing of Milk for Manufacturing Purposes and Establishing Minimum Standards for Certain Dairy Products To Be Used for Human Food, and adding 2 VAC 5-531, Regulations Governing Milk for Manufacturing Purposes.

    ● The predominant concerns raised dealt primarily with proposed amendments concerning the pasteurization regulations of milk and its byproducts, including cheese. The exemption for goat farmers was the issue most discussed. The Commission established a subcommittee to address this issue.

    ● Action: After extensive review, discussion and public comments, the Commission determined that the concerns raised did not warrant any further action by the Commission.

    State Board of Health

    Regulations: 12 VAC 5-380. Regulations for the Licensure of Home Health Agencies.

    ● The Commission received a presentation from Mr. Chris Head of Home Instead Senior Care of Roanoke, Virginia.

    This organization provides nonmedical assistance, and homemaker and chore services to the elderly. Mr. Head spoke about what he felt were out-of-date regulations. Ms. Carrie Eddy, Senior Policy Analyst with the Department of Health's Center for Quality Health Care and Consumer Services, responded to his concerns.

    ● Action: The Commission decided to monitor the progress of these regulations.

    Virginia Department of Labor and Industry

    Regulations: These regulations in 16 VAC 25 pertain to the enforcement practices of Virginia and federal occupational safety and health standards.

    ● The rules came to the attention of the Commission based on the enforcement of VOSH (Virginia Occupational Safety and Health) inspection practices and concerns of construction companies in the Tidewater area.

    ● Action: The meetings of the Commission were used as a forum for resolution of the concerns to the satisfaction of all the parties.

    Child Day-Care Council

    Regulations: 22 VAC 15-30. Minimum Standards for Licensed Child Day Centers.

    ● The proposed amendments include, among other issues: (i) increasing the minimum staff-to-child ratios, (ii) increasing the scope and training for the centers' staffs, (iii) increasing the needed activity space, and (iv) changing requirements for playground surfaces and playground equipment.

    ● Dr. Amie Lapp-Payne, Department of Social Services, addressed the 15 proposed substantive changes to the existing regulations. Some have already been adopted by the Child Day-Care Council.

    ● Former Senator Eva Scott spoke about the most controversial of the proposed amendments: the activity space requirement. Additionally, much public comment was heard regarding the proposed amendments to the regulations.

    ● Action: The Commission decided to express its disapproval of the proposed amendments and submitted a letter to Governor Warner outlining its concerns. The Governor replied and reiterated his support for the proposed regulations with the exception of the enhanced square footage requirements. His response called for newly licensed providers to be affected by the proposed additional space constrictions while existing facilities need not meet the requirements. He asked the Child Day Care Council and the Commissioner of Social Services to work collaboratively to revise this portion of the regulations. Several Commission members plan to submit legislation concerning this issue during the 2005 Legislative session.

    Department of Social Services

    Regulations: 22 VAC 40-41. Neighborhood Assistance Tax Credit Program.

    ● The Commission heard from Ms. Diana Ruchelman, representing Jewish Family Services of Tidewater. Ms. Ruchelman expressed her concern that the Department had raised the threshhold level of poverty of those to be served, which effectively eliminated Jewish Family Services and many other organizations from receiving the tax credit.

    ● Mr. Mark Grigsby, Director of the Office of Community Services with the Department of Social Services, explained that Social Services is charged by the Code of Virginia to serve the people who are at or below 150% of the poverty level, and, to meet that end the eligibility threshold for the program was established.

    ● Action: The Commission helped to facilitate a resolution of the dispute but declined to act further as the threshold amount in dispute is set out in statute and not in regulation.

    Department of Environmental Quality

    Regulations: 9 VAC 25-780. Water Supply Planning Initiative.

    ● Mr. Robert Burnley, Director of the Department of Environmental Quality spoke about the planning process and criteria for the development of a statewide water resources plan. Each locality or localities working in conjunction with their neighbors are to plan for the projected water demand.

    ● Action: The Commission expressed its approval of the regulations. The regulations went into a public comment period in December 2004 and will likely be finalized by June 2005.

    Regulations: 9 VAC25-260, 9 VAC25-40, 9 VAC25-720. Nutrient Control Regulations.

    ● The Commission invited Secretary of Natural Resources, Tayloe Murphy as well as Mr. Allan Pollock, the Water Control Manager of the Department Environmental Quality, and Ms. Rebecca Hamner, Director of Chesapeake Bay programs with the Environmental Protection Agency, to speak to the Commission and provide information concerning (i) nitrogen, phosphorous, and sediment loads, (ii) dissolved oxygen, submerged aquatic vegetation and chlorophyll a standard, and (iii) how to balance growth with water control standards.

    ● Action: The Commission used the greater portion of the January 11, 2005 meeting to receive information about the impact of the proposed regulations on the affected parties. No action, at this time, was taken by the Commission.