The DIR and DWC web sites and email notification systems are evolving in an effort to improve our public communications efforts, particularly in light of current fiscal and staffing constraints. At the present time, here are the ways to keep current on the division's rulemaking activities.
Before the DWC or the WCAB go into the formal rulemaking process, we generally host a public electronic discussion forum on new regulations or regulatory revisions that we are considering proposing. The home page for the forums is at http://www.dir.ca.gov/wcjudicial.htm. There you will find general information about the forums and a link to the currently active ones.
At the forum(s) of your choice, you will be able to read the proposal as well as the comments submitted to date. You may add your own comment or even comment on someone else's comment. These are moderated forums, so there may be a lag of a day or so before your comment are posted. These forums are a great assistance to us in drafting the version of the new or amended regulation that we then propose in formal rulemaking. Please feel free to participate.
When we move to the next step and schedule public hearings on proposed new or amended regulations, a regulatory package is mailed or emailed to the Administrative Director's mailing list. It includes the hearing notice, the initial statement of reasons, and the text of the new or amended regulation. This material is also posted on the DIR Rulemaking page at: http://www.dir.ca.gov/DIRRulemaking.html. Subsequent changes to the proposals requiring further public comment are also posted on that page.
When the new or amended regulation is adopted and submitted to the state Office of Administrative Law, that package, including the final statement of reasons and the final version of the regulation as amended, is posted as well. This is the version of the regulation that will show you, through strikeout and underlining, what was changed. If one or more forms were included in the new regulation(s) you will see the version of the new form that went to OAL for approval, but the version you actually use should be the properly formatted one that you can download from the DWC forms page at http://www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/forms.html.
The adopted regulation and a concise statement of reasons will be mailed or emailed to all parties on the AD's mailing list. Due to budget constraints, mailings to this list are often consolidated, so there may be a delay.
Soon after OAL approves the new regulation, it will appear in DIR's online version of Title 8, California Code of Regulations at http://www.dir.ca.gov/samples/search/querydwc.htm. It will also appear in the regulations at the OAL web site: http://ccr.oal.ca.gov/. Note that these websites display the adopted version of the regulation and do not show the changes that were made. Also note that there may some lag time between OAL approval and when the new material is posted.
Another method of communication often used to distribute information to the public regarding regulatory issues is the DWC Newsline. Newslines are used to announce the posting of regulatory initiatives on the DWC/WCAB Forum, the commencement of formal rulemaking, and the adoption of regulations. If you are not receiving these Newslines and would like to, contact Maureen Gray at firstname.lastname@example.org, phone (415) 703-4600, and provide your name, email address, physical address and phone number. You can find an archive of all of the Newslines issued in recent years at http://www.dir.ca.gov/DWC/dwc_newsline.html.
If you are not receiving the formal rulemaking packages in the mail or by email and you wish to, please send an email to email@example.com or contact Marcela Reyes at (415) 703-4600. Please provide your name, company, physical address, phone number and fax number. If you wish to receive this material by email, provide your email address as well.
Finally, we have an "Announcements" page at the DWC web site at http://www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/whatsnew.htm. We generally post an announcement on that page whenever any of the above regulatory events occur.
We are currently working on ways to improve these communications efforts, such as mailing lists that are better targeted, so that you get what you need but not a lot of superfluous material. Please feel free to send your comments or suggestions as to how we can improve our services to firstname.lastname@example.org.