The Governor’s Regulatory Review Council was created in 1986 to review proposed rules that are submitted by agencies, boards and commissions. The Arizona Administrative Procedure Act which governs the rulemaking process, and statutory authority for GRRC is found at A.R.S. §§41-1001 et seq.
The Secretary of State is responsible for publishing the Arizona Administrate Code and the Arizona Administrative Register, which are the authoritative sources for Arizona administrative rules. The office of Secretary of State is established at A.R.S. §41-121 et seq. The responsibility to publish administrative rules is found at A.R.S. §§41-1011 et seq.
GRRC reviews and either approves or rejects proposed rules submitted by agencies. The review is governed by specific statutory requirements. GRRC reviews preambles and statements regarding the economic impact of the proposed rule on small businesses and consumers; assesses whether a rule is clear, concise and understandable; determines if the rule is within the agency’s statutory authority and if the benefits of the rule outweigh the cost (Auditor General Performance Audit). If the rule does not meet statutory criteria, GRRC returns it to the agency for further consideration.
Before submitting a rule to GRRC for review, an agency must follow specific steps outlined in statute, which include: opening a docket; publishing the proposed rule and providing a notice to the public; soliciting public comment; and drafting and submitting the final proposed rule to GRRC.
GRRC is also responsible for working with agencies to conduct a periodic review of existing rules. Agencies are required to review existing rules at least once every five years to determine if the rules should be amended or repealed. The agency must submit a written report of its findings to GRRC for approval. Failure to file the Five Year Review Report by the deadline established by GRRC results in automatic repeal of the rules subject to review (A.R.S. §41-1056).
GRRC consists of seven members, six members appointed by the Governor and an ex-officio member representing the Arizona Department of Administration who serves as chairman.
GRRC was established by Executive Order in 1981 to examine proposed administrative rules that were predicted to have an economic impact. In 1986, GRRC was statutorily created and authorized to review all proposed rules. The role of GRRC was expanded in 1995 to include final approval of all proposed administrative rules unless the proposed rule was statutorily exempt from the process (2006 Auditor General Performance Audit). Revisions to administrative procedure and measures relating to regulatory reform have been introduced periodically.
The Administrative Procedure Act of 1952 required each agency to file a certified copy of every rule in effect at the time with the Office of the Secretary of State. All subsequent rules were to be filed with the Secretary of State who was required to keep a permanent register of the rules. At least 20 days prior to adoption of new rules, an agency was required to file a notice of the proposed action with the Secretary of State. The notice had to include certain information, including the time, place and nature of the proceedings for adoption of the rule; a summary of the rule or the proposed rule in its entirety; and the procedure for a person to comment. All agency rules had to be compiled by the Secretary of State at least every two years and made available to interested persons at a price that covered the cost of publication (Laws 1952, Chapter 97).
Laws 1972, Chapter 9 required the Arizona Attorney General to review and approve a state agency rule before it could be adopted.
Laws 1976, Chapter 82 required the Secretary of State to publish all administrative rules and regulations on file in the office at least once each quarter. The measure also required the Secretary of State to publish a digest containing a summary of each notice of proposed adoption, amendment or repeal at least once a month. The digest was available by subscription or for single copy purchase. Finally, the measure limited the validity of a rule adopted under an emergency to no more than 90 days after its filing with the Secretary of State.
Laws 1982, Chapter 108 required an agency to determine if a proposed rule would affect small businesses and outlined methods for the agency to consider in order to reduce the impact.
The Arizona Administrative Procedure Act was substantially revised in 1986. The measure established the GRRC and transferred the responsibility to review and approve proposed rules from the Arizona Attorney General to the GRRC. The Secretary of State was authorized to prescribe a uniform numbering system, form and style for all rules filed and published. In addition, each agency was required to review its existing rules at least once every five years and provide a written report of its findings and recommended actions to GRRC (Laws 1986, Chapter 232).
Regulatory reform was a central theme in the Arizona legislature in the 1990s. Laws 1994 Chapter 363 established a 15-member Joint Legislative Study Committee on Regulatory Reform and Enforcement to examine the “extent to which state government has adopted unnecessary, costly, duplicative or overly burdensome rules and licensing requirements that adversely affect the interest of the state economy and state residents.” A final report was due to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, President of the Senate and the Governor by December 15, 1995. See the “Ad Hoc Regulatory Reform and Enforcement Study Committee Report” available at the Arizona Memory Project website. Subsequent reports are also available.
Laws 1995, Chapter 251 established the 11-member Administrative Rules Oversight Committee, charged with the responsibility to review all proposed or adopted rules to be sure they are consistent with statute and legislative intent. The measure authorized the Committee to provide comments and testimony to GRRC. The Committee is required to issue an annual report to the Legislature containing recommendations to alleviate duplicative or onerous rules and substantive policy statements. The Committee is staffed by Legislative Council.
Laws 1998, Chapter 57 provided that failure to file a five-year review report by the deadline established by GRRC would result in the rules scheduled for review to expire and be removed from the register.
Laws 2010, Chapter 287 modified conditions for GRRC review and approval of a final rule and revised the information to be included in an economic, small business and consumer impact statement. Laws 2010, Chapter 309 allowed GRRC to consider an early review petition of a proposed rule.
Laws 2017, Chapter 138 allows a person to submit a petition to GRRC, requesting a review of a substantive policy or rule adopted by an agency if the person believes the policy or rule was not made in accordance with state law. The rule may be determined to be void, based on the GRRC decision.
Laws 2018, Chapter 178 outlines a number of changes to the rulemaking process. Specific provisions address: proposed rules, emergency rules, and exempt rules; petitions to amend or repeal a final rule; rules made by a county; requirements related to public notice public comment; and publication of rules. The full text of each rule will be published electronically by the Secretary of State and will be available at no charge. A code supplement will be published electronically, rather than in loose-leaf format, at least every quarter.
Laws 2018, Chapter 337 allows a person to submit a petition to GRRC, requesting a review of a substantive policy, rule or licensing requirement that is not authorized by state law or is burdensome or unnecessary to meet a public health, safety or welfare concern. GRRC may modify, revise or invalidate the policy, rule or licensing requirement.
- Arizona Revised Statutes
- A.R.S.§§41-1001 et seq.
- A.R.S.§§41-1051 et seq.
- Session Laws
- Laws 1952, Chapter 97
- Laws 1972, Chapter 9
- Laws 1976, Chapter 82
- Laws 1982, Chapter 108
- Laws 1986, Chapter 232
- Laws 1994, Chapter 363
- Laws 1995, Chapter 251
- Laws 1998, Chapter 57
- Laws 2010, Chapter 287 and Chapter 309
- Laws 2017, Chapter 138
- Laws 2018, Chapter 178 and Chapter 337
Executive Order No. 81-3 Establishing a Governor’s Regulatory Review Council
Arizona Auditor General Performance Audit Reports
Ad Hoc Regulatory and Enforcement Study Committee Report – 1995.
related collections at Arizona State archives
Record Group 2 – Secretary of State
Record Group 8 – Department of Administration: Governor’s Regulatory Review Council