Rules

Administrative Code (Codified Rules)

Administrative Register (Proposed rules and other notices)

Popular Questions

What are rules?

A rule is the result of rulemaking by a state agency, board or commission.

Rules are “made” in Arizona as final, expedited, exempt, and emergency (temporary) 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.” 

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. Beginning in 1999 the Register was posted online. 

Why are there exemptions to the rulemaking process?

It is not uncommon for an agency to be exempt to the rulemaking process. Often the authority for the exemption is specified in the Arizona Administrative Procedures Act, also known as the APA (Arizona Revised Statutes, Title 41, Chapter 6, Articles 1 through 10.)

Where can I find the authority for 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. When a notice of exempt rulemaking is filed with the Administrative Rules Division we require an agency to specify the law which gives it the exemption in what’s call the preamble of rulemaking.

In the Administrative Code we include editor’s notes at the beginning of a chapter to notify the user that certain rulemaking sections in the document were made by exempt rulemaking. Exempt rules notes are also included in the historical note at the end of a rulemaking section.

What kinds of exemptions are there? Can the public still participate and give comments?

Notice of Exempt Rulemaking - Standard APA Exemptions

This is an exemption that is in the APA listed under A.R.S. § 41-1005 (link is external) and A.R.S. § 41-1057 (link is external). These exemptions give the agency full authority to make, amend, or repeal rules without following the steps outlined in the APA. A few examples of these steps include providing a notice of public hearing or filing a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for publication in the Administrative Register. It should be noted that some agencies, although exempt from all APA requirements, will draft a Notice of Proposed Exempt Rulemaking and solicit public comments on the rules.

Notice of Proposed Exempt Rulemaking - Unique exemptions to certain processes required under the APA

Recently there has been a trend to give an agency an exemption under session law with an expiration date to complete its rulemaking. The Legislature is specific on the steps an agency must take to complete the rulemaking.

These include:

A. Publish a Notice of Proposed Exempt Rulemaking somewhere.

1. Publishing a Proposed Exempt Rulemaking or “draft” rules on the agency’s website;

2. Filing for publication in the Arizona Administrative Register a Proposed Exempt Rulemaking; or

3. Requiring an agency to do both one and two.

4. An agency may also be required to or in good faith, file a Notice of Public Information about the Proposed Exempt Rulemaking. This notice often includes the statutory exemption, where the stakeholders can review the draft rules and provide comments.

B. Solicit and Accept Public Comments. Some exemptions require an agency to solicit public comments. The solicitation may be part of a Notice of Public Information as stated under subsection (A)(4), or simply asking from comments on an agency’s website.

C. In rare instances an agency may file a Notice of Supplemental Proposed Exempt Rulemaking if significant changes are being made to the original Notice of Proposed Exempt Rulemaking.

D. 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 it will file and publish this type of notice with our office.

Notice of Final Exempt Rulemakings

This type of notice is filed when an agency completes its draft rulemaking under the exemption. It doesn’t matter if the agency filed the draft rules with our office for publication in the Register. If the Proposed Exempt Rulemaking was available for review somewhere, the notice to be submitted for publication in the Code is a Notice of Final Exempt Rulemaking.

Agencies are encouraged to publish all exempt notices in the Register to help maintain the public records and transparency.

Disclosure and Transparency – Publication of exempt notices in the Register are yet one more way for the public to learn about the rulemaking. Since the Register is the official rule publication for the stakeholders and the public, they will turn to it first for information. Other notification methods such as publishing public meetings in a newspaper of record are also encouraged. Some agencies may also choose to publish public meetings on the Department of Administration's Public Meeting online kiosk (link is external). Every agency is required to publish every public meeting notice on their websites under A.R.S. § 38-431.02 (link is external).

Public Records – Original filed notices are permanently maintained and archived under the Division’s records retentions schedule. 

 

Exemptions to the Rulemaking Process

It is not uncommon for an agency to be exempt to the rulemaking process as specified in the Arizona Administrative Procedures Act, also known as the APA (Arizona Revised Statutes, Title 41, Chapter 6, Articles 1 through 10.)

Where can I find 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. When an agency files an exempt rulemaking package with our office we require that it specify the law which gives the exemption in what’s call the preamble of rulemaking.

In the Administrative Code we include editor’s notes at the beginning of a Chapter to notify the user that certain rulemaking Sections in the document were made by exempt rulemaking. Exempt rules notes are also included in the historical note at the end of a rulemaking Section.

 

Types of Exemptions

Notice of Exempt Rulemaking - Standard APA Exemptions

This is an exemption that is in the APA listed under A.R.S. § 41-1005 and A.R.S. § 41-1057. These exemptions give the agency full authority to make, amend, or repeal rules without following the steps outlined in the APA. A few examples of these steps include providing a notice of public hearing or filing a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for publication in the Administrative Register. It should be noted that some agencies, although exempt from all APA requirements, will draft a Notice of Proposed Exempt Rulemaking and solicit public comments on the rules.

Notice of Proposed Exempt Rulemaking

Unique exemptions to certain processes required under the APA

Recently there has been a trend to give an agency an exemption under session law with an expiration date to complete its rulemaking. The Legislature is specific on the steps an agency must take to complete the rulemaking.

These include:

  • A. Publish a Notice of Proposed Exempt Rulemaking somewhere
    • 1. Publishing a Proposed Exempt Rulemaking or “draft” rules on the agency’s website;
    • 2. Filing for publication in the Arizona Administrative Register a Proposed Exempt Rulemaking; or
    • 3. Requiring an agency to do both one and two.
    • 4. An agency may also be required to or in good faith, file a Notice of Public Information about the Proposed Exempt Rulemaking. This notice often includes the statutory exemption, where the stakeholders can review the draft rules and provide comments.
  • B. Solicit and Accept Public Comments.
    Some exemptions require an agency to solicit public comments. The solicitation may be part of a Notice of Public Information as stated under subsection (A)(4), or simply asking from comments on an agency’s website.
  • C. In rare instances an agency may file a Notice of Supplemental Proposed Exempt Rulemaking if significant changes are being made to the original Notice of Proposed Exempt Rulemaking.
  • D. 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 it will file and publish this type of notice with our office.

Notice of Final Exempt Rulemakings

This type of notice is filed when an agency completes its draft rulemaking under the exemption. It doesn’t matter if the agency filed the draft rules with our office for publication in the Register. If the Proposed Exempt Rulemaking was available for review somewhere, the notice to be submitted for publication in the Code is a Notice of Final Exempt Rulemaking.

Agencies are encouraged to publish all exempt notices in the Register to help maintain the public records and transparency.

Disclosure – Publication of exempt notices in the Register are 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 notification methods such as publishing public meetings in a newspaper of record are also encouraged. Some agencies may also choose to publish public meetings on the Department of Administration's Public Meeting online kiosk. Every agency is required to publish every public meeting notice on their websites under 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 to both the public and agency personnel.