What is Rulemaking?

Rulemaking is a specific authority that the Utah Legislature grants to an agency. When an agency is granted this authority, it can make administrative rules that have the full power of law.

Once an agency has been granted rulemaking authority, it can then create new rules, or amend or repeal existing rules. This process is governed by the Utah Administrative Rulemaking Act (Title 63G, Chapter 3).

The Office of Administrative Rules (Office) assists agencies in filing their rules and rule changes, publishes those changes in the Utah State Bulletin, as well as assists the public with research.

Rulemaking Timeline

Preproposal Phase: An agency decides to make a change to a rule or make a new rule. This might be because the agency received comments from the public or because of new legislation, among other things

Providing Public Notice: When an agency files a rule, it is required by law (Section 63G-3-301(10)) to inform those who would be affected by the rule change, or to those who have requested to be informed of changes. In addition, all proposed rule changes are published in the Utah State Bulletin.

Rule Review Process: All changes to rules must be filed with the Office where each is reviewed to ensure all changes meet the procedural requirements of the Rulemaking Act.

After the initial review by the Office, a filing may then be sent to the Governor's Office for further review. The Governor's Office will review a rule for content and make sure an agency is staying within its rulemaking scope.

A filing may then be sent to the Governor's Office of Management and Budget for a review of the rule's fiscal impact.

The filing then returns to the Office for final review before being published in the Utah State Bulletin.

Public Comment Period: If the filing is a "proposed rule," then after publication it will enter a comment period that lasts a minimum of 30 days. This comment period allows for the public to make comment either in favor or against the proposed rule change.

Per Section 63G-3-302:

"(1) Each agency may hold a public hearing on a proposed rule, amendment to a rule, or repeal of a rule during the public comment period.

(2) Each agency shall hold a public hearing on a proposed rule, amendment to a rule, or repeal of a rule if:
          (a) a public hearing is required by state or federal mandate;
          (b)(i) another state agency, 10 interested persons, or an interested association having not fewer than 10 members request a public hearing; and (ii) the agency receives the request in writing not more than 15 days after the publication date of the proposed rule.

(3) The agency shall hold the hearing:
          (a) before the rule becomes effective; and
          (b) no less than seven days nor more than 30 days after receipt of the request for hearing."

After the comment period, the filing enters a 7-day review period. In this period, an agency will review any comments that they received.

Making a Rule Effective: After the review period, an agency will file a notice of effective date with the Office. An agency can file an effective date no sooner than the end of the review period, and no later than 120 days after the filing was published in the Utah State Bulletin. This effective date is when the rule becomes enforceable.

Codification: Codification occurs when the Office puts the rule or rule change in the Utah Administrative Code. This puts the change on the Office's website and makes it easily accessible to the public.