WSR 05-03-056

PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH


[ Filed January 11, 2005, 4:49 p.m. ]

Subject of Possible Rule Making: Chapter 246-790 WAC, Special supplemental nutrition program for women, infants, and children, the federal reauthorization bill for the WIC program set forth new regulations for the operation of the WIC program. The new regulations include, among many topics, provisions around cost containment, the type of retailers the states are allowed to contract with to accept WIC checks, the selection criteria the states use to choose their authorized retailers, the time periods in which states may accept applications from retailers to become authorized, and how WIC checks may be transacted.

Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 43.70.120.

Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: The WIC program has federal authority to impose sanctions, including monetary penalties. The Administrative Procedure Act (APA) requires a state rule to be in place if a program has the authority to impose monetary penalties. In order to remain in compliance with the federal regulations and the APA, the WIC program needs to revise the existing rule. The regulations have not yet been released. However, Washington WIC has received policy statements from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in advance of the regulations so to begin making the required changes.

Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: The USDA establishes the regulations that govern the operation of the WIC program.

Process for Developing New Rule: Program staff will solicit input from the Retailer Advisory Committee, the Washington food industry, all authorized retailers and owners, local agency staff, and other interested parties. All proposed revisions will also have to be reviewed and approved by the USDA.

Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Susan Evans, WIC Program, P.O. Box 47886, Olympia, WA 98504-7886, voice (360) 236-3636, fax (360) 586-3890, e-mail susan.evans@doh.wa.gov.

January 10, 2005

Mary C. Selecky

Secretary

Washington State Code Reviser's Office