The party states hereby create and establish a joint public entity known as the interstate commission of nurse licensure compact administrators.
The commission is an instrumentality of the party states.
Venue is proper, and judicial proceedings by or against the commission shall be brought solely and exclusively, in a court of competent jurisdiction where the principal office of the commission is located. The commission may waive venue and jurisdictional defenses to the extent it adopts or consents to participate in alternative dispute resolution proceedings.
Nothing in this compact shall be construed to be a waiver of sovereign immunity.
Each party state shall have and be limited to one administrator. The head of the state licensing board or designee shall be the administrator of this compact for each party state. Any administrator may be removed or suspended from office as provided by the law of the state from which the administrator is appointed. Any vacancy occurring in the commission shall be filled in accordance with the laws of the party state in which the vacancy exists.
Each administrator shall be entitled to one vote with regard to the promulgation of rules and creation of bylaws and shall otherwise have an opportunity to participate in the business and affairs of the commission. An administrator shall vote in person or by such other means as provided in the bylaws. The bylaws may provide for an administrator's participation in meetings by telephone or other means of communication.
The commission shall meet at least once during each calendar year. Additional meetings shall be held as set forth in the bylaws or rules of the commission.
All meetings shall be open to the public, and public notice of meetings shall be given in the same manner as required under the rule-making provisions in sub. (8)
The commission may convene in a closed, nonpublic meeting if the commission must discuss any of the following:
Noncompliance of a party state with its obligations under this compact.
The employment, compensation, discipline or other personnel matters, practices or procedures related to specific employees or other matters related to the commission's internal personnel practices and procedures.
Negotiation of contracts for the purchase or sale of goods, services, or real estate.
Accusing any person of a crime or formally censuring any person.
Disclosure of trade secrets or commercial or financial information that is privileged or confidential.
Disclosure of information of a personal nature where disclosure would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.
Disclosure of investigatory records compiled for law enforcement purposes.
Disclosure of information related to any reports prepared by or on behalf of the commission for the purpose of investigation of compliance with this compact.
Matters specifically exempted from disclosure by federal or state statute.
If a meeting, or portion of a meeting, is closed pursuant to this provision, the commission's legal counsel or designee shall certify that the meeting may be closed and shall reference each relevant exempting provision. The commission shall keep minutes that fully and clearly describe all matters discussed in a meeting and shall provide a full and accurate summary of actions taken, and the reasons therefor, including a description of the views expressed. All documents considered in connection with an action shall be identified in such minutes. All minutes and documents of a closed meeting shall remain under seal, subject to release by a majority vote of the commission or order of a court of competent jurisdiction.
The commission shall, by a majority vote of the administrators, prescribe bylaws or rules to govern its conduct as may be necessary or appropriate to carry out the purposes and exercise the powers of this compact, including but not limited to any of the following:
Governing any general or specific delegation of any authority or function of the commission.
Providing reasonable procedures for calling and conducting meetings of the commission, ensuring reasonable advance notice of all meetings, and providing an opportunity for attendance of such meetings by interested parties, with enumerated exceptions designed to protect the public's interest, the privacy of individuals, and proprietary information, including trade secrets. The commission may meet in closed session only after a majority of the administrators vote to close a meeting in whole or in part. As soon as practicable, the commission must make public a copy of the vote to close the meeting revealing the vote of each administrator, with no proxy votes allowed.
Establishing the titles, duties, and authority and reasonable procedures for the election of the officers of the commission.
Providing reasonable standards and procedures for the establishment of the personnel policies and programs of the commission. Notwithstanding any civil service or other similar laws of any party state, the bylaws shall exclusively govern the personnel policies and programs of the commission.
Providing a mechanism for winding up the operations of the commission and the equitable disposition of any surplus funds that may exist after the termination of this compact after the payment or reserving of all of its debts and obligations.
The commission shall publish its bylaws and rules, and any amendments thereto, in a convenient form on the website of the commission.
The commission shall maintain its financial records in accordance with the bylaws.
The commission shall meet and take such actions as are consistent with the provisions of this compact and the bylaws.
The commission shall have all of the following powers:
To promulgate uniform rules to facilitate and coordinate implementation and administration of this compact. The rules shall have the force and effect of law and shall be binding in all party states.
To bring and prosecute legal proceedings or actions in the name of the commission, provided that the standing of any licensing board to sue or be sued under applicable law shall not be affected.
To borrow, accept, or contract for services of personnel, including, but not limited to, employees of a party state or nonprofit organizations.
To cooperate with other organizations that administer state compacts related to the regulation of nursing, including but not limited to sharing administrative or staff expenses, office space, or other resources.
To hire employees, elect or appoint officers, fix compensation, define duties, grant such individuals appropriate authority to carry out the purposes of this compact, and to establish the commission's personnel policies and programs relating to conflicts of interest, qualifications of personnel, and other related personnel matters.
To accept any and all appropriate donations, grants and gifts of money, equipment, supplies, materials, and services, and to receive, utilize, and dispose of the same; provided that at all times the commission shall avoid any appearance of impropriety or conflict of interest.
To lease, purchase, accept appropriate gifts or donations of, or otherwise to own, hold, improve, or use, any property, whether real, personal, or mixed; provided that at all times the commission shall avoid any appearance of impropriety.
To sell, convey, mortgage, pledge, lease, exchange, abandon, or otherwise dispose of any property, whether real, personal, or mixed.
To appoint committees, including advisory committees comprised of administrators, state nursing regulators, state legislators or their representatives, and consumer representatives, and other such interested persons.
To provide and receive information from, and to cooperate with, law enforcement agencies.
To perform such other functions as may be necessary or appropriate to achieve the purposes of this compact consistent with the state regulation of nurse licensure and practice.
The commission shall pay, or provide for the payment of, the reasonable expenses of its establishment, organization, and ongoing activities.
The commission may also levy on and collect an annual assessment from each party state to cover the cost of its operations, activities, and staff in its annual budget as approved each year. The aggregate annual assessment amount, if any, shall be allocated based upon a formula to be determined by the commission, which shall promulgate a rule that is binding upon all party states.
The commission shall not incur obligations of any kind prior to securing the funds adequate to meet the same; nor shall the commission pledge the credit of any of the party states, except by, and with the authority of, such party state.
The commission shall keep accurate accounts of all receipts and disbursements. The receipts and disbursements of the commission shall be subject to the audit and accounting procedures established under its bylaws. However, all receipts and disbursements of funds handled by the commission shall be audited yearly by a certified or licensed public accountant, and the report of the audit shall be included in and become part of the annual report of the commission.
Qualified immunity, defense and indemnification:
The administrators, officers, executive director, employees, and representatives of the commission shall be immune from suit and liability, either personally or in their official capacity, for any claim for damage to or loss of property or personal injury or other civil liability caused by or arising out of any actual or alleged act, error, or omission that occurred, or that the person against whom the claim is made had a reasonable basis for believing occurred, within the scope of commission employment, duties, or responsibilities; provided that nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to protect any such person from suit or liability for any damage, loss, injury, or liability caused by the intentional, willful, or wanton misconduct of that person.
The commission shall defend any administrator, officer, executive director, employee, or representative of the commission in any civil action seeking to impose liability arising out of any actual or alleged act, error, or omission that occurred within the scope of commission employment, duties, or responsibilities, or that the person against whom the claim is made had a reasonable basis for believing occurred within the scope of commission employment, duties, or responsibilities; provided that nothing herein shall be construed to prohibit that person from retaining his or her own counsel; and provided further that the actual or alleged act, error, or omission did not result from that person's intentional, willful, or wanton misconduct.
The commission shall indemnify and hold harmless any administrator, officer, executive director, employee, or representative of the commission for the amount of any settlement or judgment obtained against that person arising out of any actual or alleged act, error, or omission that occurred within the scope of commission employment, duties, or responsibilities, or that such person had a reasonable basis for believing occurred within the scope of commission employment, duties, or responsibilities, provided that the actual or alleged act, error, or omission did not result from the intentional, willful, or wanton misconduct of that person.
The commission shall exercise its rulemaking powers pursuant to the criteria set forth in this subsection and the rules adopted thereunder. Rules and amendments shall become binding as of the date specified in each rule or amendment and shall have the same force and effect as provisions of this compact.
Rules or amendments to the rules shall be adopted at a regular or special meeting of the commission.
Prior to promulgation and adoption of a final rule or rules by the commission, and at least sixty days in advance of the meeting at which the rule will be considered and voted upon, the commission shall file a notice of proposed rulemaking on all of the following:
The website of each licensing board or the publication in which each state would otherwise publish proposed rules.
The notice of proposed rule making shall include all of the following:
The proposed time, date, and location of the meeting in which the rule will be considered and voted upon.
The text of the proposed rule or amendment, and the reason for the proposed rule.
A request for comments on the proposed rule from any interested person.
The manner in which interested persons may submit notice to the commission of their intention to attend the public hearing and any written comments.
Prior to adoption of a proposed rule, the commission shall allow persons to submit written data, facts, opinions, and arguments, which shall be made available to the public.
The commission shall grant an opportunity for a public hearing before it adopts a rule or amendment.
The commission shall publish the place, time, and date of the scheduled public hearing.
Hearings shall be conducted in a manner providing each person who wishes to comment a fair and reasonable opportunity to comment orally or in writing. All hearings will be recorded, and a copy will be made available upon request.
Nothing in this subsection shall be construed as requiring a separate hearing on each rule. Rules may be grouped for the convenience of the commission at hearings required by this subsection.
If no one appears at the public hearing, the commission may proceed with promulgation of the proposed rule.
Following the scheduled hearing date, or by the close of business on the scheduled hearing date if the hearing was not held, the commission shall consider all written and oral comments received.
The commission shall, by majority vote of all administrators, take final action on the proposed rule and shall determine the effective date of the rule, if any, based on the rule-making record and the full text of the rule.
Upon determination that an emergency exists, the commission may consider and adopt an emergency rule without prior notice, opportunity for comment, or hearing, provided that the usual rule-making procedures provided in this compact and in this subsection shall be retroactively applied to the rule as soon as reasonably possible, in no event later than 90 days after the effective date of the rule. For the purposes of this provision, an emergency rule is one that must be adopted immediately in order to do any of the following:
Meet an imminent threat to public health, safety, or welfare.
Meet a deadline for the promulgation of an administrative rule that is required by federal law or rule.
The commission may direct revisions to a previously adopted rule or amendment for purposes of correcting typographical errors, errors in format, errors in consistency, or grammatical errors. Public notice of any revisions shall be posted on the website of the commission. The revision shall be subject to challenge by any person for a period of 30 days after posting. The revision may be challenged only on grounds that the revision results in a material change to a rule. A challenge shall be made in writing, and delivered to the commission, prior to the end of the notice period. If no challenge is made, the revision will take effect without further action. If the revision is challenged, the revision may not take effect without the approval of the commission.
Article IX — Oversight, dispute resolution, and enforcement. 441.51(9)(a)1.1.
Each party state shall enforce this compact and take all actions necessary and appropriate to effectuate this compact's purposes and intent.
The commission shall be entitled to receive service of process in any proceeding that may affect the powers, responsibilities, or actions of the commission, and shall have standing to intervene in such a proceeding for all purposes. Failure to provide service of process in such proceeding to the commission shall render a judgment or order void as to the commission, this compact, or promulgated rules.
Default, technical assistance, and termination. 441.51(9)(b)1.
If the commission determines that a party state has defaulted in the performance of its obligations or responsibilities under this compact or the promulgated rules, the commission shall do all of the following:
Provide written notice to the defaulting state and other party states of the nature of the default, the proposed means of curing the default, or any other action to be taken by the commission.