Rules and Policies Assistance Unit, Department of Social and Health Services



CR-101 Filings

Proposed Rules and Hearings

Permanent and Emergency Rules

Expedited Rules

How to Participate

DSHS Rules

Rule-Making Agenda

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DSHS Rule-Making Process

To adopt rules - also known as Washington Administrative Code, regulations, or "WAC" - all Washington State agencies must follow steps that are described in the Administrative Procedure Act, or "APA." All DSHS rules may be found in Title 388 WAC. The regular rule-making steps in the APA include:

Other possible rule-making actions in the Administrative Procedure Act are:

Emergency rules: DSHS may adopt temporary emergency rules if the rules are needed to prevent a threat to public safety, health or welfare, or if DSHS must meet an immediate deadline imposed by a state or federal law, a federal rule or a court decision. Emergency rules are generally effective for 120 days and may be extended in certain circumstances, but they can't become permanent unless the regular rule-making steps above are followed.

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Expedited rule-making. This shortened process allows DSHS to adopt or repeal a rule without a public hearing or comment process in very limited circumstances.  A CR-105 Expedited Rule-Making notice and the full text of the proposed rule are published in the State Register.  In the next 45 days, if anyone objects to the expedited process, DSHS must use the regular rule-making process to adopt the rule including holding a public hearing.  But if no one objects during this period, DSHS may adopt the rule by issuing a CR-103 rule-making order.

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Rule-Making Petition. Anyone may petition DSHS to adopt, amend or repeal a rule, by sending a letter or using an available form. Petitions should be sent to the DSHS Rules Coordinator. DSHS has 60 days to either reject the petition, or accept it. If the request is accepted, a regular rule-making process is started.

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