1. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT RULEMAKING

Table of Contents

Does the Revisor's Office charge for drafting assistance and form approval of rules?

No. All services performed as part of the rule drafting assistance we provide to agencies or in connection with our form approval of various rule documents are provided without charge to agencies.

How long will it take the revisor to approve my rule?

By law, the revisor must approve an adopted rule within five working days after it is submitted to the office.

There is no similar law that establishes a time period within which the revisor must approve proposed rules, modifications, exempt rules, and notices of adoption. The time it takes to review and approve these rule documents depends upon the length and complexity of the document, the wishes of the agency, and other demands on the office. During legislative sessions, the demands on the office sometimes make it difficult for us to review and approve these documents on short notice. If possible, when you are developing a rulemaking timeline, please try to allow more time for our review and approval if you are planning to request these services from us during legislative sessions.

In what form does the revisor want rule language I have already drafted?

We will accept rule language from you in whatever form you have it. If you are amending existing rules, we can give you a printout from our database for you to mark up and return to us. We will also accept disk copy of documents that you have created on your word processing system. For now, please provide us with a copy in either Word 97 or ASCII format. However, please check with us before providing disk copy in either of those formats in case these requirements change. Giving us a disk copy of rule language saves us time in creating the final product only if the language is new rule text. For amendatory rule language, we must rebuild the document in our database to ensure that existing rule text is not inadvertently dropped or altered in your word processing document.

When should I ask the revisor for rule drafting assistance?

We will be happy to assist you at any stage of the process, including the development of initial working drafts. In some cases, we may suggest that you make significant revisions to the rule's organization and content. If you wait to request our assistance until after you have written your SONAR and other supporting documents, you may find that you need to redraft those documents.

When you ask us to provide drafting assistance, we make sure that the rule is in a form that satisfies our requirements. This will save you time when you are ready to request a publication draft from us to begin formal rulemaking.

What type of drafting assistance can I expect from the revisor?

By law we are prohibited from acting as your legal counsel before an administrative law judge and helping you write your SONAR.

You are required to get our form approval of your rule before you publish it in the State Register. At that time we will input the rule into our computer system, carefully check it, and revise it if necessary to meet our form requirements. Those requirements are set out in detail in this manual. We will also point out any substantive and organizational problems we see in the document.

When can I expect to receive a copy of my rule as adopted from the revisor?

Once an adopted rule is published in the State Register, we will provide you with a stripped copy of your adopted rule (a copy with strikeouts, struck text, and underscoring removed). Depending on other demands in the office, this generally is provided to you within one week.

When will my rule appear in Minnesota Rules?

The full 13 volume set of Minnesota Rules is published every two years (in the odd numbered years). Between publications two supplements are published. Supplement Number 1 is available approximately ten months after the full publication and Supplement Number 2 is available approximately seven months after Supplement Number 1. For each publication, a cutoff date is established by the revisor. If a rule is adopted after that cutoff date it will not appear until the next publication.

Can I get Internet access to agency rules?

Yes. Go to our homepage at http://www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us and click on the link to Minnesota Rules. We are not presently able to display graphics and other special material there.

How do I arrange for copies of my rules to be printed and sold at the state book store?

A request must be made by you directly to the book store. This can be done by calling 297-3000. Once a request is received by the bookstore, they will contact us and we will provide them with the text. We will bill the bookstore directly and they in turn will bill you. The bookstore will not automatically reprint booklets when new rules are adopted. They will continue selling old booklets until you specifically tell them to remove them from the shelves.

If a rule is no longer effective or is obsolete, can the revisor remove it from Minnesota Rules?

We may remove rules from the official publication that by their own terms are no longer effective or have been repealed by the agency or the legislature, or have been found by a court to be unconstitutional or illegal. Before doing this, we must notify the attorney general and give the attorney general the opportunity to object.

If you have a rule that you consider obsolete that does not fall within one of the categories listed above, you should consider adopting a rule repealer through the normal rulemaking process, using the good cause rulemaking exemption in Minnesota Statutes, section 14.388, or seeking legislative repeal of the rule.

What is an incorporation by reference and when and how do I use it in rules?

An incorporation by reference is a method of including other publications or documents as part of your rule. Incorporating this material by reference makes it an enforceable part of your rule while sparing you the time and expense of having to reproduce it as part of the rule. Incorporating other material into a rule, whether it is other statutory or rule material or other publications or documents, sometimes raises legal questions. (For example, have future amendments to the material been incorporated? Has statutory language been duplicated unnecessarily?) Incorporations can also create readability problems because readers must shift from document to document.

Minnesota Statutes, section 14.07, subdivision 4, governs the form of incorporations by reference. The revisor's office requires agencies to submit two copies of any document or publication being incorporated by reference that is not otherwise conveniently available to the public. These copies will be given to the state law library so that the public has access to them.

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Last review or upate: 2/23/99 (haj)
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