By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports
The Department of Health and Welfare is holding six public hearings throughout the state on its administrative rules.
Because all of the rules were reauthorized this year, the public is invited to comment on any of the department’s existing rules, said Tamara Prisock, administrator of licensing and certification, at the department’s board of directors meeting on Thursday. So far, the department has received petitions on rules regarding immunizations at both public schools and licensed daycares, Child Protective Services, testing for newborns, and consent for medical services.
There’s a caveat, though: As the state is so far along in the rulemaking process, it’s going to be difficult to make any changes before the final publication of rules in November, depending on the nature of the rule, Prisock said.
As for the department’s new rule dockets, each of those have their own hearings, or have already had hearings, Prisock said. Those new rules concern emergency medical services, clinical laboratories, gender marker changes on birth certificates, immunization requirements, and more. You can find those new rules here.
Of the department’s 83 original rule chapters, 71 were reauthorized. The department has identified another 12 with outdated or repetitive language that it plans to amend. Those amendments won’t include substantive policy changes, Prisock said.
The department also plans to reduce the number of so-called restrictive words — words like “must,” “shall” and “prohibited” — by July 1, 2021. The department has identified 11,158 restrictive words in its 71 chapters, and plans to reduce that by 20 percent, to just under 9,000.
Here are the dates and locations of the rule hearings:
Aug. 22: 1 to 4 pm MDT, 3232 Elder Street, Conference Rooms D East and D West, Boise
Aug. 23: 1 to 4 pm MDT, 150 Shoup Ave, 2nd Floor Conference Room, Idaho Falls
Aug. 26: 9 am to noon PDT, 1120 Iron Wood Drive, Lower Level Conference Room, Coeur d’Alene
Aug. 27: 10 am to noon PDT, 1118 F Street, 3rd Floor Conference Room, Lewiston
Aug. 27: 3 to 4:30 pm, 108 Grangeville Truck Route, Grangeville
Aug. 28: 1 to 4 pm, 601 Pole Line Road, Main Conference Room, Twin Falls
Gender markers on birth certificates
One of the pending rules has drawn robust discussion from the public and the board: Applications for gender marker changes on birth certificates.
In May, the board voted to require a medical attestation for minors applying for gender marker changes. (Read more about that, as well as the legal fight over the birth certificate changes, here.) That rule went into effect on July 1st; Since then, one minor has applied for a gender marker change.
Elke Shaw-Tulloch, administrator of public health, gave the board an update on how many people have applied to change their birth certificates since the state changed its policy in April 2018. In total, the state has seen 116 applications, with applicants’ ages ranging from 7 to 78 years old. In that time, 15 applications have come from minors.
Sen. Fred Martin, R-Boise and chairman of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee, noted that some of his colleagues in the legislature originally wanted medical sign-offs for gender marker change applications for both adults and minors. Though he felt good about the board’s May decision, he said he didn’t know how the legislature would handle the rule change in the upcoming 2020 session.
Confused on the rules process? Here’s a chart prepared by IDHW.