Office of Administrative Counsel & Rules
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Click on the questions below to see their answers.
What are the types of rulemaking?
There are four types of rulemaking (Regular, Exempt, Emergency, and Expedited) which are explained on the Rulemaking Process webpage.
What is a regular rulemaking?
A regular rulemaking is one that is required to conform to all the requirements in the Arizona Administrative Procedure Act in Arizona Revised Statute (A.R.S.) Title 41, Chapter 6.
What is an exempt rulemaking?
An exempt rulemaking is a rulemaking that is promulgated pursuant to a statutory exemption from the Administrative Procedure Act in Arizona Revised Statute (A.R.S.) Title 41, Chapter 6. Generally, rules can be promulgated under the exempt rulemaking process faster than they can be promulgated under the process required in Title 41, Chapter 6. Many exempt rulemakings are granted for specific periods of time. Additionally, the Legislature may specify different requirements that must be followed during the exempt rulemaking. For instance, the Legislature may exempt the Department from the Title 41, Chapter 6 requirements but require the Department to hold a 30-day public comment period or to submit proposed exempt rules to the Secretary of State for publication and hold a hearing about the proposed exempt rules before the rules are finalized. Usually, an agency that is given a Title 41, Chapter 6 exemption is not required to obtain approval from the Governor's Regulatory Review Council. Regardless of the type of exemption, the Department is always required to file a Notice of Exempt Rulemaking with the Secretary of State.
How do I know which rules are being considered for rulemaking by the Department?
There are several ways to find out which rules are being considered for rulemaking:
- According to A.R.S. § 41-1021.02, by December 1 of each year, the Department is required to make available to the public the Regulatory Agenda that the Department expects to follow during the next calendar year.
- The Department generally posts Rulemakings in Progress on the Administrative Counsel and Rules webpages for rulemaking.
- When the Department begins drafting rules for a regular rulemaking, the Department must submit a Notice of Docket Opening to the Secretary of State for publication in the Arizona Administrative Register. The purpose of this notice is to inform the public that the Department will begin drafting rules and identify the agency personnel with whom persons may communicate regarding the rules.
- When the Department has drafted rules under exempt rulemaking, the Department will generally submit a Notice of Public Information to the Secretary of State for publication in the Arizona Administrative Register. The purpose of this notice is to inform the public of the exempt rulemaking and where a copy of draft rules may be obtained.
Where can I obtain information about or a copy of a proposed rulemaking?
You can obtain information about or a copy of a proposed rulemaking through the Rulemaking in Progress webpage.
How long does it take the Department to complete a regular rulemaking?
The time it takes to complete a regular rulemaking depends on how long it takes to draft the language of the rules and proceed through the formal rulemaking process.
Factors affecting the time spent in drafting include the number of rules that are being drafted and the extent of public participation in the rulemaking. When a rulemaking calls for extensive public participation, the Department may form a working group, representing different types of persons with an interest in the rules, that provides input into the subject matter of the rules. When this occurs, the Department may be in the drafting process for one or more years.
After the rules have been drafted and a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is submitted to the Secretary of State, the formal rulemaking process begins. The minimum amount of time it takes for the formal rulemaking process to be completed and the rules to become effective is dictated by requirements of the formal rulemaking process. If the Department obtains an immediate effective date, the minimum amount of time for a rulemaking to become effective after the formal rulemaking process begins is approximately three months. It is more common for a rulemaking to become effective six to nine months after the formal rulemaking process begins.
When do regular rules become effective?
Regular rules must be approved by the Governor's Regulatory Review Council (GRRC) at a monthly GRRC meeting. After rules are approved, GRRC gives the agency a certificate of approval, and the agency submits the rules and certificate of approval to the Secretary of State, which will publish the Notice of Final Rulemaking in the Arizona Administrative Register. When the rules become effective depends on whether the Department requested and was granted an immediate effective date for the rulemaking.
If the rules are approved by GRRC with an immediate effective date, the rules become effective when they are submitted to the Secretary of State, usually within a day or two after the date of the GRRC meeting.
If the Department did not request an immediate effective date, the rules become effective 60 days after the date they are submitted to the Secretary of State for publication.
What can I do if I think the Department should change one of its existing rules?
The Office of Administrative Counsel and Rules (ACR) will always accept comments related to the Department's rules. You also have the following opportunities for providing your comments to the Department:
- When the Department has published a Notice of Rulemaking Docket Opening and has not yet proposed rules: You can send your written suggestion for the rule change to one of the individuals listed under item 4 of the Notice of Rulemaking Docket Opening. Your suggestion will not be part of the official rulemaking record, but will be considered by the Department in making the rules.
- When the Department has made proposed rules: You can submit written comments on the proposed rules to one of the individuals listed under item 4 in the Preamble of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. If the Department has scheduled an oral proceeding on the proposed rules for a future date, you can also provide oral comments at the oral proceeding. If you provide oral comments at an oral proceeding or submit written comments before the close of record, your comments will become part of the official rulemaking record.
- When the close of record for a proposed rulemaking has passed: You can contact ACR at (602) 542-1020 to find out where the Department is in the rulemaking process. If a Notice of Final Rulemaking has already been approved by the Governor's Regulatory Review Council (GRRC), the rulemaking process is complete, and you can follow the guidance in the paragraph below for when the Department is not currently involved in rulemaking. Regardless of where the Department is in the rulemaking process, the Department will always accept comments related to the Department's rules. The Department encourages anyone who believes that a Department rule should be changed to contact ACR to express their concerns.
- When the Department is not currently involved in rulemaking for a rule that you think should be changed: The Department encourages you to contact ACR to express your concerns. You may do this informally by telephone or in writing or formally by submitting a written petition for a rule under A.R.S. § 41-1033. A petition for a rule must meet the requirements of Department rule A.A.C. R9-1-203, which may be found on the Arizona Secretary of State website.
What is the difference between a five-year-review report and a rulemaking?
During a five-year review, an agency analyzes the agency's rules to determine whether rulemaking is necessary, but does not directly change any rules. The Department is required by A.R.S. § 41-1056 to review its rules at least once every five years to determine whether the rules should be amended or repealed. The Governor's Regulatory Review Council (GRRC) has established a schedule that specifies the month and year when a five-year-review report (report) is due to GRRC for approval. If a report is not submitted to GRRC by the GRRC due date, the rules expire and cannot be enforced by the Department.
Rulemaking is the process by which the Department creates new rules or changes existing rules. The processes for conducting a five-year review and a rulemaking are entirely separate. The Department does not make new rules in the five-year-review report. The Department may, but rarely does, conduct a rulemaking simultaneously with a five-year-review. If the Department determines that current rules should be amended or repealed, the Department may conduct a rulemaking according to the proposed course of action stated in the five-year-review report.
How do I locate a specific Arizona State statute online?
To locate a specific statute online, go to the Arizona State Legislature website; on the reddish banner at the top of the Secretary of State's homepage, select “Rules”/”Arizona Administrative Code.” Scroll down to see an index of all Rule Titles, find the Title number that corresponds to the number(s) located directly to the right of the letter "R" in your rule citation, and select the Title. (For instance, if you are looking for A.A.C. R9-10-101, you are looking for Title 9.) After that, scroll down to the Chapter number that corresponds to the number(s) located between the two hyphens in your rule citation. (Using the previous example, you would be looking for Chapter 10.) Select the link on the Chapter title to see the online version of the rules that most closely resembles the layout published in the Arizona Administrative Code. Select the “rtf” (Rich Text Format) link to see a full-page version of the rules without columns. Finally, scroll down to where your rule is located in numeric order to see its text.
How do I locate a specific Arizona State rule online?
To locate a specific rule online, go the Arizona Secretary of State website; on the left side of the Secretary of State's homepage, scroll down and select the link for "Publications." Then select "Administrative Code/Register." Scroll down again and select "Administrative Code Online." Then in the center of the page, you will see an index of all Title and Chapter, find the correct Title number that corresponds to the number(s) located directly to the right of the letter "R" in your rule citation. (For instance, if you are looking for A.A.C. R9-10-101, you are looking for Title 9.) After that, scroll down to the Chapter number that corresponds to the number(s) located between the two hyphens in your rule citation. (Using the previous example, you would be looking for Chapter 10.) Select the PDF (Portable Document Format) link to see the online version of the rules that most closely resembles the layout published in the Arizona Administrative Code. Finally, scroll down to where your rule is located in numeric order to see its text.
How do I locate a previous version of an Arizona rule?
To locate a previous version of an Arizona Administrative Code rule, contact the Secretary of State's office at (602) 364-3226 or (602) 364-3223 or the Arizona State Library, Law and Research Library Division at (602) 542-5297.
How do I locate another state's rules and regulations?
To locate another state's rules and regulations, visit the Administrative Code and Registers Section of the National Association of Secretaries of State.
Who do I contact if I have questions about what a rule requires and how it applies to me or my business?
There are two sources you can contact if you have questions about what a rule requires. The first source is the Program that is responsible for implementing and enforcing the rule in question. The Program is a group of individuals designated by the Department to carry out a function or series of functions for which the Department is responsible. Program staff can assist you in understanding a rule's requirements and can provide guidance regarding what you must do to comply with the rule. If you do not know which Program to contact, you may go to the “A-Z Index” on the Department's website where you can find links to the Department's various Programs and services.
Another source of information is the Office of Administrative Counsel and Rules (ACR), which may be able to provide information about the rulemaking process. ACR cannot apply the rule to your particular situation and cannot provide legal advice related to the rule.