PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY
Subject of Possible Rule Making: Representation in administrative hearings and a new rule in chapter 10-08 WAC, the model rules of procedure for administrative hearings.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 34.12.080.
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: This rule was requested by legal advocate groups. It is contained in "Ensuring Equal Access for People with Disabilities: A Guide for Washington Administrative Proceedings," endorsed by the Washington state access to justice board. The rule is intended to address the barriers which some people with physical and/or mental impairments face, which may cause them to be unable to meaningfully participate in an administrative hearing.
Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: Although this rule may have some very infrequent impact on all of the agencies whose decisions are reviewed in administrative hearings, we anticipate that the primary caseload impacted will be department of social and health services and health care authority public assistance hearings. We intend to share our draft rule with them and solicit their feedback.
Process for Developing New Rule: The negotiated and pilot rules process in RCW 34.05.310 do [does] not apply to this rule under: (1) RCW 34.05.310 (4)(b) because the rule sought will not subject a nongovernmental party to a possible violation and (2) under RCW 34.05.310 (4)(g)(i) because the rule sought will apply to procedures and practice of agency hearings.
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Assistant Deputy Chief Administrative Law Judge Jane L. Habegger, P.O. Box 42489, Olympia, WA 98504-2489, (360) 407-2756, firstname.lastname@example.org.
August 13, 2012
Chief Administrative Law Judge