- What are rules?
- A.R.S. 41-1001(17) states: “‘Rule' means an agency statement of general applicability that implements, interprets, or prescribes law or policy, or describes the procedures or practice requirements of an agency.” Virtually everything in our daily lives is affected in some way by rules published in the Arizona Administrative Code, from the quality of air we breathe to the licensing of your dentist.
- What is the Arizona Administrative Code?
The Arizona Administrative Code is where the official rules of the state of Arizona are published. The Code is the official compilation of rules that govern state agencies, boards, and commissions. The 10-volume set includes rules divided into 20 Titles and 230 Chapters.
The Code contains all rules made by the regulatory agencies of the state and filed with the Office after either certification by the Attorney General or approval by the Governor's Regulatory Review Council. The Code also contains rules exempt from the rulemaking process or exempt from certification or approval.
The Secretary of State's Office publishes Code supplements at least once each calendar quarter. The office publishes about 325 copies of each Code supplement, for paid subscribers and government agencies.
Each supplement contains between 1500-2000 pages of text, printed on both sides. If you do the math, to print the Code supplements this year we will go through 1,300,000 sheets of paper. That's 260 boxes of paper -- over five tons of paper.
- What is the Arizona Administrative Register?
The Arizona Administrative Register (A.A.R.) is the official publication to track rulemaking activity - from an idea or concept of the making of a rule (docket opening) - to the proposal of the rule (proposed rule) and public participation of the making of the rule - to an agency making a final rule and getting it approved by the Governor's Regulatory Review Council or the Attorney General's Office.
The A.A.R. as published by our office is an official publication of the state of Arizona and contains the rulemaking activity of the state's agencies, including proposed, final, emergency, summary, and exempt rules.
The Secretary of State's Office prints the Registerweekly. Rulemakings initiated under the Administrative Procedure Act as effective Jan. 1, 1995, include full text of rules.
In addition, the Register contains the full text of the Governor's Executive Orders and Proclamations of general applicability, summaries of Attorney General opinions, notices of rules terminated by the agency, and the Governor's appointments of state officials and members of the state's boards and commissions.
Other documents may be included if the documents are concerned with rulemaking or if state statute requires that they be published in the Register.
The Office has an editor who compiles the rulemaking activity every week into the publication. We publish around 230 copies each week for paid subscribers and government agencies. An average issue is about 100 pages. To print the weekly Register we average over 560,000 sheets of paper a year.
The use of paper has significantly decreased over the years with the posting of the Administrative Code and Register online.
- When did the Secretary of State start to print rules?
Laws 1972, Ch. 35, § 1 required all administrative rules in the state to be printed in one official publication.
In 1975 the Secretary of State's Office completed the codification of the rules and published the first multi-volume set referred to as the Official Compilation of Administrative Rules and Regulations.
In January 1987, the name of the set was statutorily changed to its current title, the Arizona Administrative Code.
Until 1990 supplements were published on 6” x 9” paper as “replacement pages.”
Since then the Office has published supplements by full Chapters on standard 8 1/2” x 11” paper, making Code set updates faster and easier.
Starting in 1997 the Code was posted online at the Secretary of State's Web site. Beginning in 1999 we put the Register on our Web site.
- How can the public find out about changes in rules?
That's where the Arizona comes in.
The Register is an official state publication that contains the rulemaking activity of the state's agencies, including proposed, final, emergency, summary, and exempt rules.
The Office prints the Register weekly. The rulemaking process is lengthy and can be complicated, Registeris the medium for “tracking” a rule as it makes its way through the process.
- Exemptions to the Rulemaking Process
Please read the editor's notes that may be published at the beginning of each Administrative Register or Code Chapter to learn if rules were adopted under an exemption. Code Chapters printed in the mid-to-late 1990s were printed on blue paper to further notify the public of the exemptions.
Are there exemptions to the exemptions? Yes.
Where's the exemption? Who gives the exemption? An agency's exemption is written in law from the Arizona State Legislature or under a referendum or initiative passed into law by Arizona voters.
Standard APA exemptions - Notices of Exempt Rulemaking ~ Sometimes an agency is exempt from the entire rulemaking process under the Arizona Revised Statutes, Title 41, Chapter 6 (A.R.S. § 41-1057. Exemptions). These notices are published in the Administrative Register as "Notices of Exempt Rulemaking." Refer to the Administrative Procedure Act PDF (APA - Arizona Revised Statutes, Title 41, Chapter 6, Articles 1 through 10) for more information about the standard exemptions to the rulemaking process.
Other exemptions - Notices of Proposed Exempt Rulemaking ~ Often a law will give an agency an exemption from a specific part of the rulemaking process (APA). It is at these times that our office encourages the agency to publish any "Notice of Proposed Exempt Rulemaking" or "Notice of Supplemental Proposed Exempt Rulemaking"in the Administrative Register. The law may or may not REQUIRE an agency to publish the proposed exempt rules in the Register, but the agency makes the determination whether they will publish this type of notice. We also encourage the agency to publish notices of public meetings and notices of public information in the Register that pertain to the exemption even if the law does not require the agency to do so.
We encourage all agencies to publish these notices in the Register for the following reasons:
Disclosure - The Register is yet one more way for the public to learn about the rulemaking. Since the Register is the official rule publication for the state stakeholders and the public will turn to it first for information. Other avenues such as publishing public meetings in a newspaper of record are also encouraged and agencies may also chose to publish public meetings on the Department of Administration's Public Meeting online kiosk. Agency's are required to publish every public meeting notice on their websites (A.R.S. § 38-431.02).
Public Records - The public record is permanently maintained and archived under the Secretary of State's records retentions schedule. Therefore, the entire rulemaking record is more readily accessible for both the public and for agency personnel.
- How can I find copies of Governor Executive Orders? How can I find copies of Governor Proclamations?
The Register contains the full text of the Governor's Executive Orders and Proclamations of general applicability, summaries of Attorney General opinions, notices of rules terminated by the agency, and the Governor's appointments of state officials and members of state boards and commissions. Refer to Semi-Annual Indexes in the Register Table of Contents. Copies of these filings can also be obtained by calling 602-542-4086.
Executive Orders are also available online from the State Library of Arizona. This is a numeric listing of the Executive Orders issued since April 22, 1965.
- What is a Semi-Annual Index?
The Secretary of State’s Office is required to publish a Semi-Annual Index to the Register under the Arizona Administrative Procedure Act.
A.R.S. § 41-1013(A) states, “The secretary of state shall publish the register at least once each month, including the information which is provided under subsection B of this section and which is filed with the secretary of state during the preceding thirty days. The secretary of state shall publish an index to the register at least twice each year.”
Included in this Index are Governor's appointments of state officials and members of boards and commissions; Governor's Executive Orders; summaries of Attorney General Opinions; and Administrative Code sections affected in a six-month period. They are published in June and December of each year and can be found in the Arizona Administrative Register Table of Contents.
- Are online rules official rules?
The rules as posted on our Web site do NOT appear as they are published by the Arizona Secretary of State's office.
We offer the rules online, in HTML, PDF, and RTF formats, but by law, the official copy of the Arizona Administrative Code is still the paper copy published by our office. In the HTML format, illustrations, graphics, and some tables contained in rules may not appear correctly because they did not electronically convert symbols and fonts.
Please be aware that symbols may also change in the conversion to HTML. Refer to the Disclaimer of this website for more information.
- What is an effective date of a rule?
Generally a rule becomes effective sixty days after a certified original and two copies of the rule and preamble are filed in the Secretary of State's Office and the time and date are affixed (A.R.S. § 41-1032).
The agency may demonstrate that the rule needs to be effective immediately on filing with the Secretary of State's Office. This information would be noted in the agency's preamble as published in the Administrative Register. Refer to the HISTORICAL NOTE in the Administrative Code for an effective date of a rule.
- How do I subscribe to the Administrative Code or Register?
Subscriptions to the official paper version of the rules are available. Fill out the order form and make checks or money orders payable to the Secretary of State. ALL MATERIALS MUST BE PREPAID. There is a fee for commercial use of the Administrative Code and Register. Contact the Office for more information.
- Who do I contact if I have a question about a rule?
The Secretary of State's Office files state agency rule and is the publisher of Arizona rules.
Please contact the state agency if you have a question about the filed rules. The contact information is found in the preamble (beginning) of the rule as published in the Administrative Register.
If you have questions about rules when reviewing the Administrative Code, contact the specific agency that made the rule.
Agency contact information can be found online at the State of Arizona website.
If you have questions about the Arizona Administrative Code or Arizona Administrative Register, please contact the editors at (602) 542-4751; or write:
Secretary of State
Public Services Division
1700 West Washington, 7th Floor
Phoenix, Arizona 85007
Inquiries can also be addressed to the editors via e-mail on our Contacts page.
- How can the public get involved in the rulemaking process?
The public is encouraged to participate in the rulemaking process by which administrative rules are made, amended, or repealed.
Listed are some of the ways in which to participate.
By inspecting a copy of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking filed with the Secretary of State, Public Services Division, for publication in the Arizona Administrative Register
See A.R.S. § 41-1022
By making oral comments, if a public hearing is held, or written comments to the agency proposing the rule. In order for the agency to consider your comments, the agency must receive them before the rulemaking is adopted. Your comments must reach the agency within the 30-day comment period following Register publication of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. Send your comments to the agency representative whose name and address are printed in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
See A.R.S. § 41-1022
By requesting, in writing to an agency, an oral proceeding on a proposed rule within 30 days after the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking has been published in the Register if the agency has not scheduled a proceeding
See A.R.S. § 41-1023
By submitting to the Governor’s Regulatory Review Council written comments that are relevant to the Council’s power to review a given rule . The Council reviews the rule at the end of the rulemaking process and before the rules are filed with the Secretary of State.
See A.R.S. § 41-1052
Governor's Regulatory Review Council
100 N.15th Ave., Ste. 402
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Phone: (602) 542-2058
Fax: (602) 542-1486
By petitioning an agency to adopt, amend, or repeal a rule. The agency must respond to the petition.
See A.R.S. § 41-1033
References are linked to the Arizona Revised Statutes or A.R.S., a compilation of the laws of the state of Arizona.