In the Know

Georgia Board of Nursing Proposes Formal Procedures for Declaratory Rulings and Petitions for Rule Changes
August 7, 2019
Alerts
Arnall Golden Gregory LLP
On July 26, 2019, the Georgia Board of Nursing (the "Board") proposed two new rules that set forth procedures for the filing and disposition of requests for declaratory rulings and for the submission, consideration, and disposition of petitions to change Board rules.

Proposed Rule 410-1-.05 would establish an official means by which an individual may request declaratory rulings from the Board. Declaratory rulings provide statements on the applicability of statutory provisions, rules, or orders of the Board. While the Board reports that such rulings are not commonly sought, they are typically requested when an individual has a question about licensure eligibility. In the proposed rule's current form, the request must be made in writing and contain the petitioner's notarized signature. The rule also obligates the Board to respond to requests for declaratory rulings within sixty (60) days. However, this response period may be extended if the Board feels that it is in the best interest of the Board to seek the opinion of the Georgia Attorney General. The proposed rule expressly excludes requests for declaratory rulings related to investigative hearings pending before the Board at the time of the request.

Proposed Rule 410-1-.06 would create a process for individuals to petition the Board to promulgate new rules or to amend or repeal existing Board rules. This rule, in its proposed form, would require such petitions to be in writing and verified under oath by the petitioner. The proposed rule also would require all such petitions to include (a) the name and address of the petitioner; (b) the full text of the rule requested to be amended or repealed and any changes proposed or, in the case of a petition for a new rule, the full text of the proposed rule; (c) a justification for amending, repealing, or creating the rule, including pertinent facts related to the petitioner's interest in the matter; and (d) citations of legal authority, if any, that authorize, support, or require the requested action. The proposed rule would require the Board to either deny the petition or initiate rule-making or rule-changing proceedings with thirty (30) days of receipt of the petition.

These rules are being proposed so that the Board’s procedures will comply with the Georgia Administrative Procedure Act that requires state agencies to provide such procedures for petitions and declaratory rulings. See O.C.G.A. §§ 50-13-9 and -11, respectively.

The Board is accepting comments until August 30, 2019. Any such comments must be made in writing and may either be mailed to Jim Cleghorn, Executive Director, Georgia Board of Nursing, 237 Coliseum Drive, Macon, Georgia 31217, faxed to (877) 371-5712, or emailed to nursing@sos.ga.gov. A public hearing is scheduled for 1:00 PM on September 5, 2019, at the Professional Licensing Boards Division, located at 237 Coliseum Drive, Macon, Georgia.