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Participate in Rulemaking

Getting input from stakeholders is an important part of the rulemaking process. When drafting new rules or amending existing rules, the department regularly involves stakeholders, including people with developmental disabilities and their families, advocacy groups, county boards of developmental disabilities, and providers of services. Stakeholders are encouraged to comment on proposed changes during the rules clearance period or at public hearings.  

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Subscribe to receive notifications of public hearings about proposed rule actions and transmittal memoranda regarding final rule actions, by sending a blank email to join-rules-notice@list.dodd.ohio.gov.

Or unsubscribe by emailing unsubscribe-rules-notice@list.dodd.ohio.gov.

The rulemaking process

The department is required by law to file rules using the procedures set forth in the Ohio Revised Code.

Proposed rules are filed with the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review, the Ohio Legislative Service Commission, the Ohio Secretary of State, and the Ohio Department of Aging.

Click through the tabs below for an overview of the rulemaking process. 

Public Hearing

Once a rule is filed, stakeholders and the general public have an opportunity to provide additional input during a public hearing, which is conducted 31 to 40 days after the rule is filed. Notice of the hearing is given at least 30 days prior to the hearing date. 

Hearing dates are published at the Register of Ohio and at the department's website. Anyone can receive emails about public hearings by emailing join-rulesnotice@list.dodd.ohio.gov.

The public hearing, which is held in Columbus, offers an opportunity for anyone affected by a proposed rule to present oral or written testimony to the department. It is not necessary to attend the public hearing to provide testimony. Written remarks may be submitted to the department on or before the hearing date by email or United States mail to the Department’s Administrative Rules Coordinator.

The department considers all testimony and decides whether to make changes to the proposed rule. If changes are warranted, the rule is refiled with JCARR, the Legislative Service Commission, Ohio the Secretary of State, and the Ohio Department of Aging.

JCARR Process

Upon completion of the public hearing and when applicable, refiling of the rules, the rules are scheduled as an agenda item for the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review, known as JCARR.

JCARR is comprised of five members of the Ohio Senate and five members of the Ohio House of Representatives. The committee's primary function is to review each proposed rule to ensure that

  • the rule does not exceed the scope of its statutory authority;
  • the rule does not conflict with the legislative intent of the statute under which it was proposed;
  • the rule does not conflict with another rule;
  • incorporations by reference within the rule meet requirements set forth in statute;
  • the department has prepared a complete and accurate rule summary and fiscal analysis of the rule; and
  • the department, through a Business Impact Analysis and related documents, has demonstrated that the regulatory intent of the rule justifies its adverse impact on businesses in the state.

If JCARR determines that a rulemaking agency has failed to comply with one or more of the six areas within JCARR's jurisdiction, JCARR may recommend to the Ohio General Assembly the adoption of a concurrent resolution to invalidate the rule.  As long as the proposed rule is not invalidated, the department may take final action to make the rule effective. Rules become effective no sooner than 10 days after final filing.

Rule Review Process

The department is required to review each of its rules at least once every five years in accordance with Section 106.03 of the Ohio Revised Code. The purpose of this review is to determine whether the rule

  • should be continued without amendment, be amended, or be rescinded, taking into consideration the purpose, scope, and intent of the statute under which the rule was adopted;
  • needs amendment or rescission to give more flexibility at the local level;
  • needs amendment or rescission to eliminate unnecessary paperwork;
  • appropriately incorporates a text or other material by reference;
  • duplicates, overlaps with, or conflicts with other rules;
  • has an adverse impact on businesses (as defined in Section 107.52 of the Ohio Revised Code);
  • contains words or phrases that in contemporary usage are understood as being derogatory or offensive; or
  • requires liability insurance, a bond, or any other financial responsibility instrument as a condition of licensure.

In reviewing rules, the department considers the continued need for the rule, the nature of any complaints or comments received concerning the rule, and any relevant factors that may have changed in the subject matter affected by the rule.

Prior to the scheduled review date of a rule, the department seeks input from stakeholders. Stakeholders are asked to review rules and identify issues and concerns and to make recommendations to the department for possible revisions. Anyone may provide input to the department during the process.

The department takes into consideration the recommendations received and other input or comments and decides what course of action will be taken concerning each reviewed rule. A rule may be filed to continue without change or may be amended or rescinded. Aside from the five-year review required by law, the department may consider rules at any time to determine what, if any, modifications may be needed as a result of new legislation or a change in policy and may propose new rules as well.