Notice and Comment
Get involved in the federal regulatory process
Submitting a comment for a federal or state notice of proposed rulemaking is one of the simplest and essential ways for the public to participate in the rulemaking process. ACS’s Notice and Comment initiative identifies opportunities to comment on key regulations put forth by federal and state agencies. ACS monitors the federal register for notices of proposed regulatory changes and highlights select opportunities that may be of interest to our members. ACS encourages our members to write and submit comments, but we are also looking for volunteers to research comments and provide expert talking points to guide comment writing. For more information, check out our Notice and Comment Webinar.
Please email LCEmails@acslaw.org with the subject line “Notice and Comment” for more information.
State Regulation Monitors
Seeking Volunteers for Monitoring Proposed Regulatory Changes in the States
ACS is expanding its Notice and Comment Project, which monitors regulations and policy-making and then highlights select opportunities that may be of interest to our members, to include all 50 states. There is currently no single location to find proposed regulatory changes for all 50 states. Not only that, but many state proposed regulatory changes are difficult to monitor and not easily accessible to the general public. ACS is looking for volunteers to monitor, on a weekly basis, state notices of proposed rulemaking. Please email LCEmails@acslaw.org for more information.
Top Notice and Comment Opportunities
- The Department of Justice (DOJ) is seeking comment by October 23 on a proposed rule to amend the Executive Office for Immigration Review (“EOIR”) regulations governing asylum and withholding of removal. These changes would make it more difficult for applicants to win humanitarian protection in the U.S. and would allow the government to quickly deport many more asylum seekers at the border. Comments may be submitted here: http://www.regulations.gov or in writing, addressed to Lauren Alder Reid, Assistant Director, Office of Policy, Executive Office for Immigration Review, 5107 Leesburg Pike, Suite 2616, Falls Church, VA 22041. Read more from CNN and The Wall Street Journal.
- The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is seeking comment by October 26, on a proposed rule that would change the admission period structure for international students, exchange visitors, and foreign information media representatives. Specifically, the proposed rule seeks to remove the current duration of status framework and would subject international students, exchange visitors, and foreign information media representatives to a fixed time period of admission and would require them to file an extension of stay or reapply for admission if the fixed period expires before the completion of their program, assignment, or employment. Comments may be submitted here: http://www.regulations.gov. Read more from CNN and NPR.
- The Department of Labor (DOL) is seeking comment by October 26 on a proposed rule that will provide a model for when businesses may legally classify workers as independent contractors rather than employees, who are covered by federal minimum wage and overtime law. Comments may be summitted here: http://www.regulations.gov or in writing, addressed to Division of Regulations, Legislation, and Interpretation, Wage and Hour Division, U.S. Department of Labor, Room S-3502, 200 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20210.
- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is seeking comment by October 27 on the economic impact of the CARD Act Rules on small entities so that it can determine whether the rules should be continued without change or amended. Comments may be submitted here: http://www.regulations.gov/ or by email to 2020-RFI-CardActReviews@cfpb.gov with Docket No. CFPB-2020-0027 in the subject line.
- The Health Resources and Services Administration (HHS) is seeking comment by October 28 on a proposed rule in pursuance of an Executive Order that seeks to improve access to certain life-saving medications by providing reimbursement to individuals who have a high cost sharing requirement for insulin or injectable epinephrine, have high deductibles, or have no health insurance. Comments should be submitted here: https://www.regulations.gov.
- The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) is seeking comment by October 30 on a proposed rule that would amend Department of Justice (DOJ) regulations to allow practitioners to assist individuals with drafting, writing, or filing applications, petitions, briefs, and other documents in proceedings before the EOIR by filing an amended version of EOIR’s current forms noticing the entry of appearance of a practitioner. Comments may be submitted here: http://www.regulations.gov, or in writing to Lauren Alder Reid, Assistant Director, Office of Policy, Executive Office for Immigration Review, 5107 Leesburg Pike, Suite 1800, Falls Church, VA 22041. Read more from the American Immigration Council.
- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) seeks comment by October 30 on a proposed rule implementing the new right of arbitration authorized by the Disaster Recovery Reform Act of 2018 (DRRA), and to revise its regulations regarding first and second Public Assistance appeals. FEMA proposes the DRRA adds arbitration as a permanent alternative to a second appeal, and allows applicants that have had a first appeal pending for more than 180 days may withdraw appeal and submit a request for arbitration. These are important issues to be addressed as while there are ways to challenge FEMA’s determinations, when communities are in need of expedited response with appropriate relief measures, the appealing process may hamper the communities to quickly rebuild to its norm after the disaster. Comments may be submitted here: http://www.regulations.gov/.
- The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) seeks comment by November 2 on a proposed rule that would accelerate access to innovative medical devices that the FDA designates as “breakthrough.” The rule would expand the regulatory standard of “reasonable and necessary” allowing for more innovations to be made available faster to prospective customers who may benefit from its therapeutic application. Comments may be submitted here: http://www.regulations.gov or in writing, addressed to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Department of Health and Human Services, Attention: CMS-3372-P, P.O. Box 8013, Baltimore, MD 21244-8013.
- The California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) is seeking comment by November 9 on a proposed rule to stop the training of Peace Officers in the use of the Carotid Restraint Control Hold, and update the training specifications for Peace Officer Basic Courses. See pages 1278-1280 for more details. Written comments can either be faxed to 916-227-6932 or mailed to Commission on POST, Attn: Cheryl Smith, 860 Stillwater Road, Suite 100, West Sacramento, C A 95605–1630.
- The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is seeking comment by November 10 on a proposed rule that would allow agencies to hire employees in certain positions on a temporary basis for up to 10 years. Comments may be submitted here: http://www.regulations.gov/. Read more from The Washington Post.
- The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) is seeking comment by November 16 on potential regulatory amendments to establish that all covered financial institutions subject to an anti-money laundering program requirement must maintain an “effective and reasonably designed” anti-money laundering program. Comments may be submitted here: http://www.regulations.gov or in writing, addressed to Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, P.O. Box 39, Vienna, VA 22183. Include RIN 1506-AB44 in the submission. Refer to Docket Number FINCEN-2020-0011.
- General Services Administration (GSA) and NASA are seeking comment by November 13 on a rule proposing to amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to implement the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance policy in connection with the Presidential Memorandum regarding “Mexico City Policy” (or “global gag rule”) on not supporting abortion in federal procurement. See pages 56549- 56557 for more information. Comments may be submitted here. Read more from Kaiser Family Foundation and Politico.
- The Office of Child Support Enforcement seeks comment by November 16 on a proposed rule that would allow States to have flexibility to exceptions against the prohibition of treating incarceration as voluntary unemployment. Comments may be summitted here: http://www.regulations.gov or in writing, to the Office of Child Support Enforcement, Attention: Director of Policy and Training, 330 C Street SW, Washington, DC 20201.
- The Rural Utilities Service, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, and Rural Housing Service, agencies that comprise the Rural Development Mission Area within the United States Department of Agriculture, are seeking comment by November 16 on a final rule to establish the authority authorized by Section 6210 of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, which will assist rural families and small businesses in gaining access to broadband service by permitting recipients of a loan, grant, or loan guarantee from RD to use up to 10 percent of the amount provided to construct broadband infrastructure in areas not served by minimum acceptable level of broadband service. Comments may be submitted here: http://www.regulations.gov/. Read more from the Center for American Progress.
- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) seeks comment by November 30 on a notice regarding the preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) and Flood Insurance Study (FIS) report that FEMA has provided to the affected communities. The FIRMs and FIS report are the basis of the floodplain management measures that the community is required either to adopt or to show evidence of having in effect in order to qualify for participation in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and be used by insurance agents to calculate appropriate flood insurance rates for new buildings. It is important to address and engage in the public comments to raise the awareness of potential flood risk properties and safeguard the communities with available options or methods. Read more from CNN and The Wall Street Journal. Comments may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org with Docket No. FEMA-B-2050 in the subject line of the message or in writing, addressed to Rick Sacbibit, Chief, Engineering Services Branch, Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration, FEMA, 400 C Street SW, Washington, DC 20472.
- The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is seeking comment by December 7 on an interim final rule to amend certain DHS regulations governing the H-1B nonimmigrant visa program. These changes will require employers to pay H-1B workers significantly higher wages, narrow the types of degrees that could qualify an applicant and shorten the length of visas for certain contract workers. Comments may be submitted here: http://www.regulations.gov. Read more from The Wall Street Journal.
Members can also search the Federal Register for other comment opportunities.
- The New York Department of Health is seeking comment before October 20 on a rule to ensure access to medicine that was formerly classified as a controlled substance. With this regulatory change, patients receiving these medications can be issued a prescription for up to one year and can easily transfer their prescription between pharmacies. This rule will affect the welfare of individuals who need to access FDA approved medications that no longer meet the legal definition of a controlled substance under New York law. See pages 7-8 for more details. Comments may be emailed to email@example.com or in writing, addressed to Katherine Ceroalo, Department of Health, Bureau of Program Counsel, Reg. Affairs Unit Room 2438, ESP Tower Building, Albany, NY 12237.
- The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) is seeking comment by October 26 on a proposed rule to amend the employee health insurance options available to Texas employers by permitting an employer group or association to qualify as a bona fide employer association entitled to buy a large employer health benefit plan under Insurance Code Chapter 1501. See pages 6700 – 6704 for more information. Comments may be submitted to ChiefClerk@tdi.texas.gov or in writing, to the Office of the Chief Clerk, MC 112-2A, Texas Department of Insurance, P.O. Box 149104, Austin, Texas 78714-9104.
- The New York Office for People with Developmental Disabilities is seeking comment before November 1 on a rule to ensure that review of a person’s medication regimen is conducted on no less than an annual basis, or more frequently as needed, an that the review shall be made by a registered nurse, physician, physician’s assistant or pharmacist. See pages 16-17 for more details. Comments may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or in writing, addressed to Mary Beth Babcock, Office for People With Developmental Disabilities, 44 Holland Ave., 3rd Floor, Albany, NY 12209.
- The Illinois Department of State Police is seeking comment by November 2 on a rule that amends the Firearm Owner Identification (FOID) Card rules to extend the expiration date for a FOID card for the period of the proclamations and the following 18 months. For more information, see pages 14826–14829. Comments may be submitted to Ms. Yvette C. Loizon, Chief Legal Counsel, Illinois State Police, 801 South 7th Street, Suite 1000-S, Springfield, IL 62703.
- The Illinois Department of Human Services is seeking comment by November 23 on a proposed rule that states that the maximum benefit levels provided to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients shall increase annually and will be equal to at least 30% of the most recent federal poverty level guidelines. This rulemaking increases and structures payment levels (i.e. grant amounts) for the TANF program. For more information, see pages 16400-16401. Comments may be submitted to Tracie Drew, Chief, Bureau of Administrative Rules and Procedures, Department of Human Services, 100 South Grand Avenue East, Harris Building, 3rd Floor, Springfield IL 62762.
On September 19, ACS hosted a webinar on notice and comment procedure. Whether you care about environmental regulations, conditions for millions of workers across the country, financial controls, or any number of regulatory issues, this valuable training seminar covers the basics of the process that underlies all regulatory action with two seasoned experts. Notice and comment is a key oversight tool for agency activity, particularly in the current political environment, and it’s also a great way to develop knowledge in a particular area of the law. Whether you are an experienced practitioner or a law student still developing your experience, you can participate in notice and comment procedure to bring about change.
Get involved in the federal regulatory process. Submitting a comment for a federal or state notice of proposed rulemaking is one of the simplest and essential ways for the public to participate in the rulemaking process. ACS’s Notice and Comment initiative identifies opportunities to comment on key regulations put forth by federal and state agencies.