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California State Capitol (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe).

State Agencies Notify Bill Authors of Rulemaking

These provisions have been in California statute since 1981

By Chris Micheli, November 11, 2022 3:30 pm

Did you know that executive branch state agencies are required to notify state legislators about rulemaking projects related to the legislator’s bill? California’s Government Code contains the Administrative Procedure Act, as well as imposes many duties and responsibilities on state agencies. In particular, the Government Code requires state agencies to take certain actions when those agencies engage in rulemaking activities.

For example, Government Code Section 11017.5 provides that, when a statute is enacted establishing a new program or requiring interpretation pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act, the state agency responsible for the program or regulatory action is required, six months after the operative date or the effective date of the statute, whichever is later, to issue a clear and concise summary of actions taken to implement the statute to the author of the statute.

In addition to the bill’s author, the state agency must issue the same summary to the policy committees in each house of the Legislature that considered the statute and, if the statute has been considered by the fiscal committee of either house of the Legislature, to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee and to the fiscal committee of each house of the Legislature that considered the statute.

Moreover, Government Code Section 11017.5 requires the state agency responsible for the program or regulatory action to send copies of all regulations proposed to implement the statute, and notice of any hearings held on those regulations before those hearings are held, to the author of the statute, so long as the author is a current Member of the Legislature.

These provisions have been in California statute since 1981. Do all of the 200-plus state agencies, departments, boards, and commissions comply with these statutory provisions in all instances?

Government Code Section 11017.6 requires every state agency responsible for implementing a statute which requires interpretation pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act to prepare by January 30 of each year, a rulemaking calendar for that year. The rulemaking calendar consists of two schedules, one which describes the rulemaking necessary to implement statutes enacted during the previous year, and the other which describes all other rulemaking the agency plans to propose, to implement or interpret other statutes enacted during years prior to the previous year.

In addition to publishing the rulemaking calendar in the California Regulatory Notice Register, state agencies subject to this section are required to send the calendar to the author of each statute enacted during the previous year for which the agency has responsibility, together with an explanation of the priority the agency has given the statute in the rulemaking calendar.

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