The Minnesota legislature has enacted specific procedures that State agencies must follow when new or revised rules are proposed.
Key steps to be completed are:
- Request for public comments - The official rule process began in 2008 with the publication of the request for comments in the State Register. The request for comments was also sent to others potentially affected by rule changes as well as those who had expressed interest in being notified. The closing date for comments was November 17, 2008 by 4:30 p.m. However, we appreciate your constructive comments any time.
- Comment review - The comments we received were reviewed and a summary was developed addressing the significant areas of comment. These comments will be considered when revising the draft rule revisions.
- Preparation of proposed rule and Statement of Need and Reasonableness (SONAR) - another step in the rulemaking process is to prepare the revised/proposed rule and SONAR that describes why each rule revision is necessary. The DNR will be in the process of developing the draft rule and SONAR in late 2008 and early 2009.
- Publish the Rule and SONAR in the State Register - Once the proposed rule and SONAR is drafted, it needs to be reviewed and approved by the DNR Commissioner and Governor's Office. If approved, the proposed rule is published in the State register and a 30-day comment period follows. All of the persons who were notified of the proposed rule during the request for comments period as well as those people who have commented or expressed an interest in the rule changes will receive notification and information on how they can receive a copy of the proposed rule.
- Conduct hearings, if required - An administrative law judge will conduct hearings on the proposed rule if 25 or more people request it during the 30-day comment period. If hearings are held a 20-day comment period follows the hearings. There is an additional 5-day period for the agency to respond to comments received.
- Administrative Law Judge review of rule - The Administrative Law Judge will advise the agency whether or not they have legal authority to adopt the rules and if the agency has demonstrated the need and reasonableness of the proposed rule. The Judge has at least 30-days following the end of the comment and response period to file the report.
- Adopt Rule, publish final rule in the State Register - After receiving the Administrative Law Judge's report the agency has 180 days to adopt the rule and submit the final rule for publication in the State Register. The rule goes into effect 7 days after final publication. The DNR anticipates this step in December 2009.