The department believes that annual renewal is important, especially in the early years of the program. However, the department will simplify annual renewal by preprinting existing registration information on renewal forms, so that producers will not have to enter any new information unless prior information has changed. The department will also offer an online renewal option. There is no fee for initial registration or for annual renewal. The department will reconsider whether annual renewal is still needed after 3 years, when the premises registration database is well established.
Comment: Delay rule promulgation until the federal government fully implements the individual animal identification plan.
Response: 2003 Wis. Act 229 specified an effective date of November 1, 2005, for the livestock premises registration program. The department is therefore obligated to promulgate the rules on or before that date. This rule already includes slightly delayed effective dates, so that livestock premises registration will be synchronized with current annual license cycles (the delayed effective dates will also give time for industry education and voluntary compliance). The department does not believe that further delays are warranted, given the timetable established by the legislation.
Comment: Remove requirement to register premises that temporarily house a small number of “fair animals."
Response: Under this rule, a person must register a location at which the person keeps livestock, regardless of the number of livestock or the purpose for which they are kept. Disease outbreaks often originate from premises that keep small numbers of livestock, and the State Veterinarian has noted that fairs and exhibitions are particularly susceptible to the transmission of disease. From a disease control standpoint, it is especially important to register fairs and exhibitions, and the source locations from which animals are brought to those events. The Wisconsin Association of County and District Fairs supports the proposed rule as drafted, and the department is reluctant to modify the rule at this time.
Comment: Change the term “public health" to “human health."
Response: The livestock premises registration law (which directs the department to adopt this rule) specifically uses the term “public health." The department prefers to use the same term in the rule to maintain consistency with the statute and to avoid confusion.
Comment: Remove provisions that allow a contract agent to register premises on behalf of the department.
Response: 2003 Wis. Act 229 specifically authorized the department to contract with an agent to register premises on behalf of the department (see s. 95.51 (8), Stats.). Registration information belongs to the department, not the contract agent. This rule contains extensive provisions to ensure the confidentiality of information, and to prohibit conflicts of interest and misuse of information. The department will incorporate those provisions in the agent contract.
Because WLIC has already completed work on system development, outreach and related materials, it can implement the program in a highly cost-effective manner. It will be substantially cheaper for the department to contract with WLIC, rather than to create its own software systems, materials, outreach networks, staffing and expertise from scratch. DATCP estimates that it could save as much as 35% by using WLIC systems and expertise, rather than by duplicating work that WLIC has already done.
Comment: Clarify the applicability of the rule to “game birds."
Response: The rule itself clearly provides that captive game birds are covered. However, the plain language analysis is not clear on this point. We will modify the plain language analysis to make it clearer.
Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection
(CR 04-140)
An order affecting ch. ATCP 40, relating to fertilizer and related products. Effective 10-1-05.
Summary of Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis
The Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (“DATCP") regulates the manufacture and sale of fertilizer and soil or plant additives, as required by ss. 94.64 and 94.65, Stats. DATCP regulates to protect farmers, consumers and honest competitors against unfair and deceptive sales practices. Regulation is designed to prevent fraudulent sales of worthless products, deceptive ingredient and performance claims, and latent safety hazards.
Under current law, companies must be licensed to manufacture or distribute fertilizer and soil or plant additives in this state. License holders file annual tonnage reports and pay tonnage fees. Product-specific permits are required for low-nutrient mixed fertilizers, and for soil or plant additives. Permit applicants must submit product labels, and must be able to justify label claims.
This rule repeals and recreates DATCP's current rules related to the manufacture and distribution of fertilizer and soil or plant additives. This rule clarifies standards and procedures related to all of the following:
Licensing manufacturers and distributors.
License and tonnage fees (this rule does not increase fees).
Product labeling and ingredient guarantees.
Permits for low-nutrient mixed fertilizers and soil or plant additives.
Substantiation of performance claims.
Product sampling and analysis.
Toxic contaminants.
Enforcement and appeals.
This rule does not regulate the application of fertilizer or soil or plant additives. This rule exempts, from regulation, a farmer who sells or distributes manure produced on his or her farm. This rule also exempts federally qualified “organic" products from permit requirements (and from certain labeling and substantiation requirements) under this rule.
Summary of Comments by Legislative Review Committees
On June 1, 2005, DATCP transmitted the above rule for legislative committee review. The rule was assigned to the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Environmental Resources and Campaign Finance Reform and to the Assembly Committee on Agriculture. Neither the Assembly Committee on Agriculture nor the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Environmental Resources and Campaign Finance Reform took any action on the rule during their review period.
Health and Family Services
(CR 04-067)
An order affecting ch. HFS 57, relating to group foster homes for children. Effective 1-1-06.
Summary of Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis
The proposed rules will affect applicants for licensure and the 120 group homes currently licensed by the Department. Section 48.625, Stats., allows individuals, profit and non-profit corporations, and privately owned licensed child welfare agencies to operate a group home so long as the person or entity is licensed by the Department. A majority of the licensed group homes are operated by private entities. The remaining number of group homes is operated by licensed county agencies.
The Department anticipates that there may be costs incurred by some group foster homes when these rules are implemented, but that the overall costs will not be significant.
The proposed rules establish increased educational requirements for staff. The costs associated with increasing the qualifications of group home staff are not anticipated to be significantly greater than the costs group homes are currently incurring.
The proposed rules establish staff to child ratios and require awake overnight staff. The increased requirements are needed due to increasingly challenging behaviors exhibited by children and youth admitted to group homes and the need to ensure resident and staff safety. Data collected by the Department related to group home serious incidents that require medical and/or police intervention support the need for increased staffing requirements. A survey of existing group homes shows that nearly 75% currently have two staff on duty during the first and second shifts and nearly 85% have awake overnight staff; providing evidence that licensees themselves recognize the need for close supervision and monitoring of residents. It should also be noted that many group homes (more than 50%) are not operating at capacity. Many are caring for five to six children rather than maintaining a capacity of eight. For group homes that will be required to hire additional staff, the cost is estimated to be about $42,209 per year (based on an hourly wage comparable to a Resident Care Technician of $10.309 x 2920 hours for an annual salary of $30,102 x .4022 fringe benefits = a fringe rate of $12,107 for a total annual cost of $41,104 per employee).
The proposed rules establish physical plant requirements related to the required square footage for each resident. These changes are not anticipated to have a significant impact on existing group homes in that the increased square footage requirements will only be necessary for new facilities. For new facilities, the cost will not be significant and will only be a one-time expense.
The proposed rules require that there be two bathrooms in co-ed facilities. A survey of existing group homes indicates that there are only 4 co-ed facilities that do not have two bathrooms. Therefore, this change is not anticipated to have a significant financial impact.
Summary of Comments by Legislative Review Committees
The Assembly Committee on Children and Families requested modifications to the final proposed rules. The department made the following modifications consistent with the Committee's request:
HFS 57.16 (4) INFANT AND TODDLER CARE. Before a staff member or volunteer may provide care and supervision for an infant or toddler as defined under s. HFS 57.37 (2) (a) and (b), the staff member or volunteer used to meet staff to child ratios shall complete the training specified under s. HFS 57.37 (4).
Note: This subsection is renumbered. The provision reviewed by the Committee was numbered s. HFS 57.16 (1) (d).
HFS 57.19 (5) (b) The age difference limitation stated in par. (a) does not apply to children admitted to a group home licensed for respite care or for homeless and runaway youth.
HFS 57.21 (1) (a) In a shift-staffed group home, during hours other than sleep, there shall be at least one staff member on duty whenever 5 or fewer residents are present. At least 2 staff, or one staff and one qualified volunteer shall be on duty if there are 6 or more residents present. Whenever residents are asleep, at least one resident care staff or relief help shall be awake unless an alternate means of assuring the safety of residents is provided by the group home and approved by the department. The group home must assure that residents are responded to if needed. The number of resident care staff shall be increased as necessary to provide the care and services identified in the group home's program statement and plan of activities.
(b) Volunteers may be used to meet the staff to resident ratio requirement when 6 or more residents are in care provided they meet staff qualifications under s. HFS 57.14 (4) (c).
Note: Some staffing alternatives for night time hours that may be approved by the department include but are not limited to: use of door alarms, motion detectors, laser or lights.
HFS 57.36 (5) 2. The staff member or volunteer who provides childcare used to meet staff to child ratios as defined in subd. 1. shall have completed the training requirements as set forth under s. HFS 57.37 (4).
HFS 57.40 (6) (a) 2. A group home serving only males or only females shall have at least one full bathroom that contains a toilet, sink, and a tub or shower available for use by residents. A group home initially licensed on or after the effective date of this chapter (revisor to insert effective date), serving males and females shall have 2 full bathrooms that are gender specific, each containing a toilet, sink and a tub or shower, unless the department grants an exception under s. HFS 57.02.
HFS 57.42 (2) (b) b) Evacuation drills shall be conducted with residents at least monthly and documented, including the date and time of the drill, the evacuation time and any problems encountered during the drill. An evacuation drill shall be conducted during sleeping hours, or which, simulates sleeping hours between the hours of 12 a.m. and 6 a.m. at least once every 6 months.
Hearing and Speech Examining Board
(CR 05-026)
An order affecting chs. HAS 2 and 6 to 8, relating to definitions, temporary trainees, continuing education, temporary licenses and unprofessional conduct. Effective 10-1-05.
Summary of Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis
Pursuant to s. 227.114 (1) (a), Stats., these proposed rules will have no significant economic impact on a substantial number of small businesses. The Department's Small Business Regulatory Review Coordinator may be contacted by email at: or by calling (608) 266-8608.
Summary of Comments by Legislative Review Committees
No comments were received.
Public Service Commission
(CR 03-086)
An order affecting ch. PSC 111, relating to the time period covered by a strategic energy assessment. Effective 10-1-05.
Summary of Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis
The rules being revised apply to an entity that has or expects to have generation in this state greater than 5 megawatts, that provides electric service to end users, or that provides electric transmission service in this state. It is unlikely that any such entity would be a small business as defined in s. 227.114 (1), Stats. Therefore, the proposed rules are not expected to affect small businesses as defined in s. 227.114 91), Stats.
Summary of Comments by Legislative Review Committees
No comments were received.
(CR 05-024)
An order affecting ch. Trans 196, relating to the convenience fee for telephone vehicle registration renewal. Effective 10-1-05.
Summary of Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis
The Department of Transportation anticipates that this rule making will have no direct adverse effect on small businesses. This rule making establishes no additional compliance, bookkeeping, or reporting requirements for small businesses.
Summary of Comments by Legislative Review Committees
No comments were received.
(CR 05-034)
An order affecting ch. Trans 117, relating to CDL occupational licenses. Effective 10-1-05.
Summary of Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis
This proposed rule could impact small businesses that employ commercial drivers. Any commercial driver who loses his or her driving privileges may be eligible for a Class D occupational license, however, they will not be able to operate a commercial motor vehicle. In 2004, the Department issued 1,088 occupational licenses for commercial drivers. None of these drivers can be issued or hold an occupational license after September 30, 2005.
If a driver cannot operate a commercial motor vehicle, and it is part of their job duties to do so, the employee must be reassigned to duties that do not require the operation of a commercial motor vehicle. As an alternative, the small business may choose to terminate the employee for being unable to perform his or her job duties and hire someone else with a valid commercial driver's license.
Summary of Comments by Legislative Review Committees
No comments were received.
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