Rule Review Adoption Justification

(effective March 15, 2021)

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (Department) filed a Notice of Intent to Review to consider for readoption, revision, or repeal the rule chapters listed below, in their entirety, under Title 16, Part 4, of the Texas Administrative Code (TAC). This review was conducted in accordance with Texas Government Code ยง2001.039.

Business and Professionals Programs

Chapter 76, Water Well Drillers and Water Well Pump Installers.

Transportation Safety Programs

Chapter 84, Driver Education and Safety.

Business and Consumer Safety Programs

Chapter 85, Vehicle Storage Facilities.

Chapter 86, Vehicle Towing and Booting.

Medical and Health Professions Programs

Chapter 100, General Provisions for Health-Related Programs.

Chapter 110, Athletic Trainers.

Chapter 111, Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists.

Chapter 112, Hearing Instrument Fitters and Dispensers.

Chapter 114, Orthotists and Prosthetists.

Chapter 115, Midwives.

Chapter 116, Dietitians.

Public Comments

A combined Notice of Intent to Review for all of the chapters listed above was published in the October 9, 2020, issue of the Texas Register (45 TexReg 7281). The public comment period closed on November 9, 2020.

Chapter 76, Water Well Drillers and Water Well Pump Installers

The Department received five public comments in response to the Notice of Intent to Review for Chapter 76, Water Well Drillers and Water Well Pump Installers.  The five comments requested amendments to the rules, including changes related to verification of completion of continuing education courses; additives in the cement slurry used for the annular seal of a well; and various definitions and technical requirements for water wells. The Department will take these comments under consideration for a possible future rulemaking because any amendments must be made using the standard rulemaking process.

Chapter 84, Driver Education and Safety

The Department received three public comments in response to the Notice of Intent to Review for Chapter 84, Driver Education and Safety.  Two comments were in support of readoption of the rules. The Department has taken these comments into consideration as part of this review.  Two comments requested amendments to the rules, including changes related to advisory committee composition; instructor development course duration; course curriculum topics; enrollment contracts; and personal validation questions for online courses.  The Department will take these comments under consideration for a possible future rulemaking because any amendments must be made using the standard rulemaking process.  Additionally, one comment was unrelated to the rules under review.  This comment was directed to the appropriate division for consideration, and the Department will not take any further rulemaking action as a result of this comment.

Chapter 85, Vehicle Storage Facilities

The Department received 14 public comments in response to the Notice of Intent to Review for Chapter 85, Vehicle Storage Facilities.  One comment stated that the rules are better enforced at the county level. This comment is construed as being against readoption of the rules, and the Department has taken this comment into consideration as part of this review.  Thirteen comments requested amendments to the rules, including changes related to documentation required for vehicle retrieval and vehicle release; daily storage fees; designation of body shops as vehicle storage facilities (VSFs); responsibilities of VSFs with regard to non-consent tow tickets; and requirements for VSF personnel to be present at facilities.  The Department will take these comments under consideration for a possible future rulemaking because any amendments must be made using the standard rulemaking process. 

Chapter 86, Vehicle Towing and Booting

The Department received eight public comments in response to the Notice of Intent to Review for Chapter 86, Vehicle Towing and Booting.  One comment stated that the rules are better enforced at the county level.  This comment is construed as being against readoption of the rules, and the Department has taken this comment into consideration as part of this review.  Seven comments requested amendments to the rules, including changes related to tow fees and to emergency licenses granted during a disaster declaration. The Department will take these comments under consideration for a possible future rulemaking because any amendments must be made using the standard rulemaking process.

Chapter 100, General Provisions for Health-Related Programs

The Department received one public comment in response to the Notice of Intent to Review for Chapter 100, General Provisions for Health-Related Programs.  The comment was in support of readoption of the rules. The Department has taken this comment into consideration as part of this review.

Chapter 110, Athletic Trainers

The Department did not receive any public comments in response to the Notice of Intent to Review for Chapter 110, Athletic Trainers.

Chapter 111, Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists

The Department received 106 public comments in response to the Notice of Intent to Review for Chapter 111, Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists.  Three comments were in support of readoption of the rules. The Department has taken these comments into consideration as part of this review.  One hundred four comments requested amendments to the rules, including changes related to telehealth and tele-supervision for interns and assistants; continuing education in telepractice; monthly supervision hours for speech-language pathology assistants; caseload caps for speech-language pathologists in school settings; a licensing exam for speech-language pathology assistants; and consumer protections from providers who do not meet legal standards.  The Department will take these comments under consideration for a possible future rulemaking because any amendments must be made using the standard rulemaking process.  Additionally, one comment expressed support for proposed changes to the rules, although there were no proposed changes in the Notice of Intent to Review.  The Department will not take any further rulemaking action as a result of this comment.

Chapter 112, Hearing Instrument Fitters and Dispensers

The Department received two public comments in response to the Notice of Intent to Review for Chapter 112, Hearing Instrument Fitters and Dispensers.  One comment was in support of readoption of the rules without changes and stated that the rules have been under constant review and change by the Department; have remained up to date; accurately reflect all statutory mandates; are not obsolete; accurately reflect current legal and policy considerations; are in alignment with current Department procedures; and meet all requirements for readoption without change.  The Department has taken this comment into consideration as part of this review.  One comment requested amendments to the rules, including changes related to audiometric testing; continuing education provider fees; the sale of hearing instruments; and the fitting and dispensing of hearing instruments by telepractice.  The Department will take this comment under consideration for a possible future rulemaking because any amendments must be made using the standard rulemaking process.

Chapter 114, Orthotists and Prosthetists

The Department received three public comments in response to the Notice of Intent to Review for Chapter 114, Orthotists and Prosthetists.  The three comments requested amendments to the rules, including changes related to the uniquely qualified person licensure process and to the fee structure for orthotists and prosthetists.  The Department will take these comments under consideration for a possible future rulemaking because any amendments must be made using the standard rulemaking process.

Chapter 115, Midwives

The Department received three public comments in response to the Notice of Intent to Review for Chapter 115, Midwives.  The three comments requested amendments to the rules, including changes related to provision of care for postpartum issues that occur beyond six weeks; administration of prescription medications; and the meaning of “a non-reassuring fetal heart rate pattern.”  The Department will take these comments under consideration for a possible future rulemaking because any amendments must be made using the standard rulemaking process.

Chapter 116, Dietitians

The Department received one public comment in response to the Notice of Intent to Review for Chapter 116, Dietitians.  The comment was in support of readoption of the rules as written and stated that the rules, which were updated during 2020,  provide timely and relevant updates to the licensure regulations; appropriately conform to the Department’s current procedures and legislative directives; and closely align with Department’s legal and policy priorities and the current standards for education and experience in the dietetics profession. The Department has taken this comment into consideration as part of this review.

Department Review

The Department has reviewed each of the rule chapters listed above and has determined that the reasons for adopting or readopting the rules in these chapters continue to exist.  The rules are still essential in implementing the statutory provisions for each of the affected programs. The rules provide details that are not found in the program statutes but are necessary for implementation and operation of the programs.

The Department may propose amendments in the future to update, clarify, or supplement the existing rules.  Any proposed changes to the rules will be published in the Proposed Rules section of the Texas Register and will be open for public comment before final adoption by the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation (Commission), the Department’s governing body, and in accordance with the requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act, Texas Government Code, Chapter 2001.

Commission Action

At its meeting on March 3, 2021, the Commission readopted the following rule chapters, in their entirety and in their current form: 16 TAC, Chapter 76, Water Well Drillers and Water Well Pump Installers; Chapter 84, Driver Education and Safety; Chapter 85, Vehicle Storage Facilities; Chapter 86, Vehicle Towing and Booting; Chapter 100, General Provisions for Health-Related Programs; Chapter 110, Athletic Trainers; Chapter 111, Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists; Chapter 112, Hearing Instrument Fitters and Dispensers; Chapter 114, Orthotists and Prosthetists; Chapter 115, Midwives; and Chapter 116, Dietitians. This concludes the review of these rule chapters in accordance with Texas Government Code §2001.039.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on March 15, 2021.

Brad Bowman
General Counsel
Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation