Rule-Making Notices
Notice of Hearing
Fee Schedule, Ch. Comm 2
Licenses, Certifications and Registrations, Ch. Comm 5
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that pursuant to ss. 101.02 (1), 101.19 and 145.08, Stats., the Department of Commerce will hold a public hearing on proposed rules under Chapters Comm 2 and 5, relating to program revenue fees, and affecting small businesses.
Hearing Information
The public hearing will be held as follows:
Date and Time
July 28, 2009
Conference Room 3C
1:00 p.m.
Thompson Commerce Center
201 West Washington Avenue
This hearing is held in an accessible facility. If you have special needs or circumstances that may make communication or accessibility difficult at the hearing, please call (608) 266-8741 or (608) 264-8777 (TTY) at least 10 days prior to the hearing date. Accommodations such as interpreters, English translators, or materials in audio tape format will, to the fullest extent possible, be made available upon a request from a person with a disability.
Copies of Proposed Rule
The proposed rules and an analysis of the proposed rules are available on the Internet at the Safety and Buildings Division Web site at Paper copies may be obtained without cost from Roberta Ward, at the Department of Commerce, Program Development Bureau, P.O. Box 2689, Madison, WI 53701-2689, or Email at, or at telephone (608) 266-8741 or TDD Relay dial 711 in Wisconsin or (800) 947-3529. Copies will also be available at the public hearing.
Appearance at Hearing and Submission of Written Comments
Interested persons are invited to appear at the hearing and present comments on the proposed rules. Persons making oral presentations are requested to submit their comments in writing. Persons submitting comments will not receive individual responses. The hearing record on this proposed rulemaking will remain open until August 7, 2009, to permit submittal of written comments from persons who are unable to attend the hearing or who wish to supplement testimony offered at the hearing. Written comments should be submitted to James Quast, at the Department of Commerce, P.O. Box 2689, Madison, WI 53701-2689, or Email at
Analysis Prepared by Department of Commerce
Statutes interpreted
Sections 101.02 (1), 101.19 and 145.08, Stats.
Statutory authority
Sections 101.02 (1), 101.19 and 145.08, Stats.
Related statute or rule
Explanation of agency authority
Chapters 101 and 145, Stats., grant the department general authority for the purpose of protecting public health, safety and welfare by establishing standards and regulatory oversight programs for the construction and maintenance of buildings, structures and dwellings and their components. These programs are administered by the Safety and Buildings Division. Sections 101.19 and 145.08, Stats., grant the department authority to promulgate rules to fix and collect fees that reflect the cost of providing these programs.
Summary of proposed rules
The proposed rules contain three substantive provisions that establish fees for credentials administered by the Safety and Buildings Division:
  The review of continuing educational course submittals.
  A credential application fee for 22 credential categories in addition to the credential fee.
  The review of a previously completed credentialing exam.
The rules also propose to shorten the length of approval for a continuing education course from 5 years to 3 years.
Comparison with federal regulations
An Internet-based search in the Code of Federal Regulations and the Federal Register did not identify any existing or proposed federal regulations that address these topics.
Comparison with rules in adjacent states
Illinois, Iowa, and Michigan do not charge a fee for their reviews and approvals of continuing education courses required for any state credentials relating to building construction.
Minnesota charges $100 for the course provider and $10 per course hour for the review and approval of continuing education courses related to residential building contractors.
Summary of factual data and analytical methodologies
The department issues 82 types of licenses, certifications and registrations for a variety of trade occupations. Approximately 40 percent of those credentials require the fulfillment of continuing educational obligations to renew the specific credential. Many of the continuing education courses are developed, conducted and/or sponsored by third-party entities. Continuing educational courses must first be reviewed and approved by the department. Currently, the department does not charge a fee for the review of a course. The department's cost to provide this review is currently offset by the credential fees of the various occupations. The department over the last three years has reviewed approximately 900 courses annually. On average, the review of a continuing educational course takes about an hour to process.
The department offers license applicants the ability to review their qualifying licensing exams. Currently, the department does not charge a fee for this service. The department's cost to provide this service is currently offset by the exam fees and the credential fees. Approximately 200 individuals annually take advantage of this opportunity. The department costs involve retrieving records and monitoring the applicants who review their exams.
Of the 82 types of credentials issued by the department, an application fee is part of the overall credential fee charge by the department for approximately 75 percent of the credentials. The application fee is charged for the initial application and for late credential renewals. Current application fees range from $10 to $35. The implementation of an application fee for the remaining 25 percent of the credentials creates equity across the board.
Analysis and supporting documents used to determine effect on small business
Continuing educational courses needed to renew various credentials issued by the department can be developed and submitted by anyone. Currently, many of the continuing education courses are developed or sponsored by various building trade or inspection associations. The fee for attending and/or completing a continuing educational course is determined by the course provider or sponsor. The department does not believe that the proposed fee of $40 per application plus $5 for each half hour of credit sought will create a significant impact on course submitters. Continuing education courses are approved for 5 years.
The proposed fee to review a previous licensing exam affects individuals and not businesses directly.
Manufactured home dealer businesses would be the only business type credential affected by the implementation of the proposed $15 credential application fee.
An economic impact report has not been required to be prepared.
Small Business Impact
Initial regulatory flexibility analysis
Types of small businesses that will be affected by the rules.
The most significant proposal establishes a fee for the department's review of continuing educational course submittals relating to credentials administered by the Safety and Buildings Division. The continuing educational courses can be developed and submitted by anyone. The courses are utilized by various trades people credentialed by the department to fulfill educational obligations as a prerequisite to renew their license, certification or registration. Currently, many of the continuing education courses are developed or sponsored by various building trade or inspection associations.
Reporting, bookkeeping and other procedures required for compliance with the rules.
The proposed changes to chapters Comm 2 and 5 do not imposed any additional reporting, bookkeeping or other procedures for compliance.
Types of professional skills necessary for compliance with the rules.
The proposed changes to chapters Comm 2 and 5 do not require any type of professional skills for compliance.
Rules have a significant economic impact on small businesses?
Small business regulatory coordinator
The small business regulatory coordinator for the Department of Commerce is Carol Dunn, who may be contacted at telephone (608) 267-0297, or Email at
Environmental Impact
The Department has considered the environmental impact of the proposed rules. In accordance with chapter Comm 1, the proposed rules are a Type III action. A Type III action normally does not have the potential to cause significant environmental effects and normally does not involve unresolved conflicts in the use of available resources. The Department has reviewed these rules and finds no reason to believe that any unusual conditions exist. At this time, the Department has issued this notice to serve as a finding of no significant impact.
Fiscal Estimate
Links to Admin. Code and Statutes in this Register are to current versions, which may not be the version that was referred to in the original published document.