Menu of Suggested Provisions For State Tuberculosis Prevention and Control Laws

III. Enabling Statutes and Rulemaking Provisions

Descriptive Note: Enabling statutes create authority for administrative agencies to promulgate regulations or rules. This authority may be express – e.g., “the health department shallpromulgate rules necessary to enforce this act” or implied – e.g., “the department shall conduct the following communicable disease control activities to protect the public’s health: investigation, enforcement of isolation and detention…” The first and second bullets below are examples of enabling statutes that grant implied authority for departments of health to promulgate TB prevention and control regulations. Regulations have been promulgated pursuant to this authority in New Jersey and New Hampshire, respectively. The New Jersey statute contains language that is not relevant to TB (e.g., quarantine, disinfection of articles), but is excerpted verbatim to demonstrate how a state has used its statutory authority to promulgate a wide range of TB prevention and control regulatory provisions. The third and fourth bullets provide express authority for the departments of health in those states to promulgate regulations for TB prevention and control, and the final bullet is an example of a general rulemaking provision.

  • In order to prevent the spread of disease affecting humans, the department and the local boards of health within their respective jurisdictions and subject to the State sanitary code, shall have power to:
    • Declare what diseases are communicable.
    • Declare when any communicable disease has become epidemic.
    • Require the reporting of communicable diseases.
    • Maintain and enforce proper and sufficient quarantine, wherever deemed necessary.
    • Remove any person infected with a communicable disease to a suitable place, if in its judgment removal is necessary and can be accomplished without any undue risk to the person infected.
    • Disinfect any premises when deemed necessary.
    • Remove to a proper place to be designated by it all articles within its jurisdiction, which, in its opinion, shall be infected with any matter likely to communicate disease and to destroy such articles, when in its opinion the safety of the public health requires it.

In the event the Governor declares a public health emergency, the department shall oversee the uniform exercise of these powers in the State and the local board of health shall be subject to the department’s exercise of authority under this section. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 26:4-2 (West 2009).

  • The department shall:
    • Identify, investigate, and test for communicable diseases posing a threat to the citizens of the state and its visitors.
    • Educate the general public, persons who provide health services to the public, and those persons responsible for the health and well-being of other persons relative to measures that will prevent the contraction of communicable disease, minimize its effects, and impede its spread.
    • Coordinate such medical, municipal, and other services as may be necessary to control, and, when possible, eradicate communicable diseases when they occur. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 141-C:3 (2009).
  • The department shall by rule:
    • Specify reportable diseases;
    • Identify those categories of persons who must report reportable diseases and the circumstances under which the reports must be made;
    • Prescribe the procedures and forms for making such reports and transmitting the reports to the department; and
    • Prescribe measures and methods for investigating the source and controlling reportable diseases. Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 433.004 (West 2010).
  • The director shall adopt rules to:
    • Prescribe reasonable and necessary measures for the submission of tuberculosis reports and statistics from counties.
    • Prescribe reasonable and necessary measures regarding standards of medical care to be used by health care providers, agencies and institutions caring for [persons who have or who based upon reasonable grounds are suspected of having active tuberculosis].
    • Prescribe necessary and reasonable measures not in conflict with law for the enforcement of the provisions of this article.
    • To enforce this article as necessary. Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 36-721 (LexisNexis 2009).
  • The department shall enforce this [tuberculosis control or communicable disease control code] and shall from time to time promulgate any additional forms and regulations that are necessary for this purpose. Del. Code Ann. tit. 16, § 1233 (West 2010).