As a courtesy, GRRC staff has compiled answers to common questions about the Council and the Arizona rulemaking process. Please contact us if you have any additional questions!
Who is on the Council?
The Council is composed of seven members, six of which are appointed by the Governor. The Council's chair is an ex-officio member as the Assistant Director of Legal Services (General Counsel) for the Department of Administration. For further details and biographies of each current member, please visit grrc.az.gov/council.
What does the Council do?
The Council is the clearinghouse for the majority of state agency rules. The Council's primary functions are the review of new rules or rule amendments proposed by state agencies, and the review of existing rules every five years on a rotating basis to ensure that such rules are still necessary and effective.
When does the Council meet?
The Council usually meets on the last Tuesday and first Tuesday of each month. On the last Tuesday of each month (weeks with holidays excepted), the Council’s study session is held. Study sessions provide an opportunity for the Council to dialogue with agency representatives, the public, and the Council’s staff. No voting and/or other legal action occurs at study sessions. On the first Tuesday of each month (weeks with holidays excepted), the Council’s regular meeting is held. Voting and/or other legal action occurs at regular meetings. For planned meeting dates in 2018, please visit grrc.az.gov/2018-grrc-calendar.
How can I find out which rulemakings and reports are considered by the Council each month?
The list of all pending rulemakings and 5YRRs that are before the Council and available for public comment in a particular month can be found at grrc.az.gov/pendingsubmissions.
Is the Council housed inside the Governor’s Office?
No. The Council is a division of the Department of Administration.
I've never heard of the Council. Is it newly created?
Governor Bruce Babbitt established the Council in 1981 by Executive Order because it was determined to be in the public interest “to assure that administrative rules and regulations avoid unnecessary duplication and adverse impact upon the public.” In 1986, the legislature codified the Council in statute (See Laws 1986, Ch. 232, § 5).
How is a rule different from a statute?
Rules are operating principles or orders created by a state agency under statutory authority granted by the Legislature. Administrative rules have the force and effect of law. The official rules are published in the Arizona Administrative Code, which is available on the Secretary of State’s website.
Statutes are laws that have been passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor. They are compiled and published every year. An electronic version of the Arizona Revised Statutes is available on the Legislature’s website.
How do I find copies of agency submissions that are pending before the Council?
The list of all pending rulemakings and five-year-review reports that are before the Council and available for public comment in a particular month can be found at grrc.az.gov/pendingsubmissions.
Are Council meetings open to the public?
Yes. Both the Council’s study sessions and regular meetings are open to the public in accordance with Arizona’s Open Meeting Law.
How can I submit a written comment to the Council on a rulemaking, five-year review report, or related issue?
Written comments can easily be submitted via the Council’s Contact Us page.
Does anyone read my comment?
Yes. All public comments are reviewed by the Council’s staff attorneys and, when applicable, are forwarded on to Council members.
What is a rulemaking?
The term "rulemaking" refers to the process of adopting rules, as well the document that an agency files with the Secretary of State to update the agency’s rules in the Arizona Administrative Code. Rulemakings are governed by the state’s Administrative Procedure Act (APA), the Secretary of State’s rules and publication guidelines, as well as the Council’s own rules.
What are the steps involved in making a rule?
The Council’s staff has developed flowcharts illustrating 1) the Regular Rulemaking process, 2) the Expedited Rulemaking process, 3) the Rule Expiration process, and 4) the Five-Year Review process which can be found at grrc.az.gov/grrcflowcharts.
Where can I find copies of existing rules?
The official rules of the state of Arizona are published by the Secretary of State and can be found in the Arizona Administrative Code.
Where can I find copies of rules proposed by agencies?
Agencies file proposed rules with the Secretary of State, copies of which are published in the Arizona Administrative Register. The Administrative Register is state’s official publication for the tracking of rulemaking activity by agencies.
How can I comment on a rule proposed by an agency?
Written comments can easily be submitted via the Council’s Contact Us page, or may be sent directly to an agency. If you are interested in submitting comments to an agency, please consult their website for procedures.
How does the Council decide whether a rulemaking should be approved?
Under A.R.S. § 41-1052(D), The Council shall not approve a rule unless:
1. The economic, small business and consumer impact statement contains information from the state, data and analysis prescribed by this article.
2. The economic, small business and consumer impact statement is generally accurate.
3. The probable benefits of the rule outweigh within this state the probable costs of the rule and the agency has demonstrated that it has selected the alternative that imposes the least burden and costs to persons regulated by the rule, including paperwork and other compliance costs, necessary to achieve the underlying regulatory objective.
4. The rule is written in a manner that is clear, concise and understandable to the general public.
5. The rule is not illegal, inconsistent with legislative intent or beyond the agency's statutory authority.
6. The agency adequately addressed, in writing, the comments on the proposed rule and any supplemental proposals.
7. The rule is not a substantial change, considered as a whole, from the proposed rule and any supplemental notices.
8. The preamble discloses a reference to any study relevant to the rule that the agency reviewed and either did or did not rely on in the agency's evaluation of or justification for the rule.
9. The rule is not more stringent than a corresponding federal law unless there is statutory authority to exceed the requirements of that federal law.
10. If a rule requires a permit, the permitting requirement complies with section 41-1037.
Five-Year Review Reports
What is a five-year review report?
Five-year review reports are a concise written analysis of an agency’s administrative rules. Every five years, agencies must submit reports to the Council for review and approval. In the process of reviewing its rules for compliance with A.R.S. § 41-1056(A), the agency may discover issues with its rules, from inconsistencies with statute to outdated terminology being used throughout the rules. The agency then develops a proposed course of action to address issues raised in the report. The Council’s staff has developed a flowchart illustrating the Five-Year Review process which can be found at grrc.az.gov/grrcflowcharts.
How does GRRC decide whether a report should be approved?
Council staff reviews the report according to the criteria provided in A.R.S. § 41-1056(A) and A.A.C. R1-6-301. Under A.R.S. § 41-1056(C), the council shall not approve a report unless it complies with A.R.S. § 41-1056(A), which requires reports to include a concise analysis of all of the following:
1. The rule's effectiveness in achieving its objectives, including a summary of any available data supporting the conclusions reached.
2. Written criticisms of the rule received during the previous five years, including any written analyses submitted to the agency questioning whether the rule is based on valid scientific or reliable principles or methods.
3. Authorization of the rule by existing statutes.
4. Whether the rule is consistent with statutes or other rules made by the agency and current agency enforcement policy.
5. The clarity, conciseness and understandability of the rule.
6. The estimated economic, small business and consumer impact of the rules as compared to the economic, small business and consumer impact statement prepared on the last making of the rules.
7. Any analysis submitted to the agency by another person regarding the rule's impact on this state's business competitiveness as compared to the competitiveness of businesses in other states.
8. If applicable, that the agency completed the previous five-year review process.
9. A determination that the probable benefits of the rule outweigh within this state the probable costs of the rule, and the rule imposes the least burden and costs to persons regulated by the rule, including paperwork and other compliance costs, necessary to achieve the underlying regulatory objective.
10. A determination that the rule is not more stringent than a corresponding federal law unless there is statutory authority to exceed the requirements of that federal law.
11. For rules adopted after July 29, 2010 that require the issuance of a regulatory permit, license or agency authorization, whether the rule complies with section 41-1037.
Can rules ever be reviewed outside the five-year review process?
Yes. Under A.R.S. § 41-1056(D), the Council may review rules outside of the five-year review process if requested by at least four members.
Petitions and Appeals
What are the different types of petitions and appeals that the Council can hear?
The Council uses the term “petition or appeal” in relation to:
- The A.R.S. § 41-1008(G) Petition for an alternative expiration date for fees established or increased by exempt rulemaking;
- The A.R.S. § 41-1033(B) Appeal of an agency’s decision on a petition requesting the making of a final rule or a review of an existing agency practice or substantive policy statement that the petitioner alleges to constitute a rule;
- The A.R.S. § 41-1033(C) Petition to request a review of a final rule based on a person's belief that a final rule does not meet the requirements prescribed in A.R.S. § 41-1030;
- Pursuant to A.R.S. § 41-1033(D), the Council’s receipt of information indicating that an existing agency practice or substantive policy statement may constitute a rule or that a final rule does not meet the requirements prescribed in A.R.S. § 41-1030;
- The A.R.S. § 41-1052(B) Early Review Petition;
- The A.R.S. § 41-1055(E) Petition for a determination that an agency is not required to file an economic, small business, and consumer impact statement;
- The A.R.S. § 41-1056(M) Petition to require an agency that has an obsolete rule to consider including the rule in a five-year review report with a recommendation for repeal of the rule;
- The A.R.S. § 41-1056(N) Petition to require an agency to consider including a recommendation for reducing a licensing time frame in a five-year review report;
- The A.R.S. § 41-1056.01(D) Appeal related to the economic, small business, and consumer impact of a rule; and
- The A.R.S. § 41-1081(F) Appeal of a delegation agreement.
What needs to be included in a petition or appeal?
A petition or appeal submitted to the Council must contain, at a minimum:
- The name, mailing address, e-mail address, and telephone number of the person filing the petition or appeal;
- The name of the person being represented by the person filing the petition or appeal, if applicable;
- The reasons for submitting the petition or appeal, including relevant facts, laws, and statutory authority;
- The reasons why the Council should grant the petition or appeal; and
- Any supporting documents relevant to the petition or appeal.
For more details, please consult the Council’s rules.