New Nurse Practice Act Regulations Proposed by IDFPR

The Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation has published new proposed rules this month for the Nurse Practice Act to reflect changes in law from the 2017 NPA Sunset review and enactment. Under the Illinois rulemaking process, the public including IANA has 45 days - until November 26th to submit any written feedback or  comment to IDFPR for their consideration. The IANA Board of Directors and Executive Committee will be analyzing the proposed changes and offer formal comment together with the Illinois Coalition of Nurses. In the event you have any specific comment you wish the IANA to consider, please email Executive Director Micah Roderick  at by no later than November 15th. 

How does the rulemaking Process work from here?

First Notice. The First Notice period commences upon publication of an agency's Notice of Rulemaking in the Illinois Register. First Notice lasts a minimum of 45 days and terminates when the agency files with the Joint Committee on Rules (“ JCAR”), commencing the Second Notice period. The only limitation is that a rulemaking expires if not adopted within 1 year after commencement of First Notice.

The agency can volunteer to hold a hearing or must conduct one at the request of the Governor, JCAR, an association representing over 100 persons, 25 individuals, or a local government. Requests for hearing must be filed within 14 days after publication of the First Notice. The agency can modify the rulemaking during First Notice by submitting a First Notice Changes document to JCAR when it gives Second Notice.

Second Notice. The Second Notice period commences upon the agency's filing of the Second Notice with JCAR and lasts for a maximum of 45 days, unless extended for an additional 45 days by mutual agreement of JCAR and the agency. During the Second Notice Period, legislative review of the rules is conducted first by the JCAR staff and then at a meeting of the legislative members. JCAR reviews the proposed rules for statutory authority, propriety, standards for the exercise of discretion, economic effects, clarity, procedural requirements, technical aspects, etc.

During the JCAR review, JCAR and the agency can agree to modifications in the rulemaking that are adopted through written JCAR Agreements. The Agreements are appended to the Certificate of No Objection issued by JCAR at its regular meeting, or are still applicable if no Certificate is issued but the agency proceeds to adopt. If the agency does not choose to modify a rulemaking or if policy differences cannot be resolved during the review process, JCAR can take one of several actions.

JCAR Motions – Four Options

Certificate of No Objection. With the Certificate, the agency can proceed to adopt the rules by filing them with the SOS for publication in the Illinois Register.

Recommendation. (Issued along with a Certificate of No Objection) The agency should respond to the Recommendation in writing within 90 days and can modify or withdraw the rule in response to a JCAR Recommendation. (After going to Second Notice, the agency cannot unilaterally modify/withdraw a rulemaking.) However, the agency can also adopt the rules with no changes at any time after receipt of the Certificate of No Objection.

Objection. An agency has to respond to an Objection in writing within 90 days, but after responding can proceed to adopt. The agency can modify or withdraw in response to a JCAR Objection or adopt the rules without changes. JCAR Agreements still apply.

Filing Prohibition/Suspension. If JCAR determines that a rulemaking constitutes a threat to the public interest, safety or welfare, the members can, by a 3/5 (8 members) vote, prohibit filing of a proposed rulemaking (or suspend an emergency or peremptory rule). As a result, the proposed rulemaking may not be accepted for filing by the Secretary of State or enforced by the agency. An emergency or peremptory rule, which has already been adopted, becomes null and void for a period of 180 days, after which, it is automatically repealed.

Public Participation

One of the main reasons the IL Administrative Procedures Act  was enacted was to give the public input into the rulemaking process. Any interested persons may contact an agency during the First Notice period to record a position on a rulemaking proposal. Additionally, many agencies consult with their identified interest groups during the pre-First Notice drafting process.

When the rulemaking goes to Second Notice, JCAR receives a copy or summary of all written comment submitted to the agency. In addition, the public may contact JCAR directly, and frequently does so if the agency refused to modify in response to public comment, or if they discovered the existence of the proposal too late for the First Notice public comment period.

Public comment is vital to the JCAR review process. Frequently, it is only through this comment that the Committee fully recognizes the effect of a rule on the individual, business or local government that has to adhere to it on a daily basis.

The public may also lodge complaints about existing rules. Agencies are required to allow the public to suggest  rule  revisions. Additionally, JCAR may open an investigation into an existing rule on its own volition or based on public complaint.