Colorado’s Rulemaking and Cost-Benefit Analysis Processes


Colorado’s Rulemaking and Cost-Benefit Analysis Processes

What is a “Regulation?”
A regulation is a policy or procedure created by a state agency that has an impact on the public. The regulation is the state agency’s action in implementing, interpreting, applying or enforcing a statute enacted by the legislature and signed into law by the Governor. Regulations range from the seemingly insignificant (the size of Swiss cheese holes) to the serious (dealing with Chronic Wasting Disease).

• Rulemaking Procedure
Every state agency in the Executive Branch must adhere to the rulemaking process outlined in the Administrative Procedure Act or APA (Section 24-4-101, Colorado Revised Statutes) unless explicitly exempted. The rulemaking process involves four stages: Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Comment Period on Proposed Rule, Hearing on Proposed Rule and Final Adoption of Proposed Rule.

Flowchart of State Rulemaking Process

• Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
When an agency wants to promulgate a new rule or an amendment to an existing rule, it must first file a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking with the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State then publishes the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Colorado Register. This publication acts as notice to the public.

Due to the passage of Senate Bill 03-121, agencies must also send a copy of the proposed rule to the Office of Policy, Research and Regulatory Reform. If you sign-up to receive a Regulatory Notice, you will receive an e-mail telling you that a proposed rule has been submitted by an agency covering a subject matter of interest to you.

Statutorily, agencies are also required to notify any individual who has told the agency that they want to be notified of any proposed rulemaking. The individual needs to file the appropriate form with the agency. The agency then will send the notice to the individual either by ordinary mail or via electronic mail. There may be a small fee for those individuals who want to receive notice by ordinary mail.

• Comment Period on Proposed Rule
Once the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is filed with the Secretary of State, the public is allowed to offer comments on the proposed rule. A Colorado state governmental agency must accept and consider comments from the public before that agency can adopt, amend or otherwise change any regulation not explicitly exempted from the APA.

Regulatory Notice
Subscribers will receive the contact information of the individuals in the agency submitting the proposed rule so that they can send comments or get further information.

• Hearing on Proposed Rule
At the hearing on the proposed rule, the agency accepts written and oral testimony about the rule. The testimony can be supportive of, or in opposition to, the proposed rule. Once the hearing ends, the public is no longer able to offer comments on the proposed rule unless the agency alters the proposed rule in a manner that requires the process to begin again.

• Final Adoption of Rule
Following the hearing on the proposed rule, the agency has 180 days to file adopted rules with the Secretary of State for publication in the Colorado Register. Adopted rules go into effect twenty days after publication or on such later date as is stated in the rule.

• Timeline Illustrating the Regulatory and Cost-Benefit Analysis Processes
The following timeline illustrates the regulatory process. The timeline below assumes statutorily minimum days used by an agency, which means that a proposed rule could become final in no less than ninety-one days.

• Anytime
Receive electronic notices of rulemaking hearings
by signing up on the Office of Policy, Research and Regulatory Reform’s site or submit your name to a specific state agency requesting that you receive notices of proposed rulemaking (a fee may be charged if you request notices by mail; there is not a fee if you request notices by electronic mail).

• Anytime
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is filed with the Secretary of State for publication in the Colorado Register and draft rules are submitted to the Office of Policy, Research and Regulatory Reform in the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA).

• Within 5 days after publication of the Notice of Rulemaking in the Colorado Register
A member of the public may request that the Executive Director of DORA require a cost-benefit analysis from the agency proposing rule changes. DORA will consult with staff of the rulemaking agency prior to making a request for a cost-benefit analysis.

• 15 days prior to first hearing
A member of the public may request a regulatory analysis from the agency proposing rule changes.

• 10 days prior to first hearing
If required, the cost-benefit analysis is completed, made available to the public on rulemaking agency’s website and submitted to the Executive Director of DORA who also makes it publicly available.

• 5 days prior to first hearing
Regulatory analysis, if requested, is completed and made available to the public.

• 0 days
First Public Hearing (public has the opportunity to submit written data, views or arguments).

• Up to 180 days after hearing
Rules must be adopted.

• Within 20 days after adoption of rules
Final adopted rules are filed with the Secretary of State for publication in the Colorado Register.

• At least 30 days after filing adopted rules with the Secretary of State
Final rules becomes effective.

• References
Colorado Secretary of State – Official Rules of State Agencies