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:
Preparing a CR-101 Preproposal Statement of Inquiry.
This is the first official notice needed to start most rule-making actions.
The CR-101 announces that DSHS is planning to write rules on a particular
subject and invites the public to take part in the rule-making process.
Publishing and mailing notices. The CR-101 and all "CR"
notices below are published in the
Washington State Register.
DSHS mails or e-mails these notices to anyone who has asked to receive DSHS
rule-making information, and to those interested in the subject matter of
the particular rule-making action.
Drafting the rules. DSHS involves the public to help write
its rules in several ways, such as forming drafting committees, sending surveys,
or circulating working drafts to interested people and groups. This drafting
process can take a few months to several years to complete. Some rules
require DSHS to prepare financial analyses that are available to the public. A
small business economic impact statement
may be prepared if the rules add new costs for small businesses. A
may be prepared if DSHS is adopting or changing rules considered "significant" under the APA.
Filing a CR-102 Proposed Rule-Making Notice.
This notice gives details about the rules DSHS plans to adopt, who may be affected by
the rules, and includes full text of the proposed rules. The CR-102 gives the date and
place of a public hearing and instructions for sending written comments about the
Accepting public comments. Anyone may go to the public hearing to
testify about proposed DSHS rules, offer written comments, or just listen. Most
hearings are held in Lacey, Washington. For those who can't attend a hearing,
sending written comments
is just as effective.
Filing a CR-103 Rule-Making Order to
adopt the permanent rule. This is the last step in the rule-making process.
The CR-103 notice includes the full text of the rule being adopted, and lets the
public know when the rules will become effective.
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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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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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