In 2016, the Rhode Island legislature passed an update to its Administrative Procedures Act (APA), which requires all state agencies, including the Department of Health, to better communicate and explain regulations. The APA requires state agencies to make regulations easy to find on the website and to put the text of the regulations in a standard format that was designed by the Secretary of State's office. All state regulations will be published in this uniform format online on the Secretary of State's and this website by January 1, 2019.
We (and all state agencies) are going through the legal process to remove outdated rules, make sure regulations address modern day needs of businesses and the public, write new regulations that state law requires, and improve current regulations so they are easy for all Rhode Islanders to understand.
When the Department of Health started reviewing all of its regulations, we saw that sometimes, the regulation included guidelines and helpful background information. However, it was not always easy to know if the information was a requirement or was meant to be helpful information.
From now on, regulations will be streamlined to clarify requirements for people and businesses licensed by the Rhode Island Department of Health. Guidance information and other communications material related to regulations will be posted here. Some examples of information that will not be included in regulations any more are forms, brochures, or policies.
If you see new or changed regulations and have any questions about them, call Health's Info Line at 401-222-5960. We will help you find the answers to your questions.