Utah’s Smart Rulemaking Process

Regulation plays an important role in the economy. Ideally, it is meant to create a level playing field for business while protecting public safety and the environment. A modern, balanced and transparent regulatory system gives businesses the confidence they need to hire, invest and innovate.

Utah has recently been recognized as the “best state to do business” with one of the most favorable regulatory climates in the nation. Much of that has been attributed to Gov. Herbert’s regulation review in 2011.This analysis of nearly 2,000 regulations representing 99 percent of Utah’s rules provides a proven framework for future regulation reform efforts.

Just as important though, is the rulemaking process behind regulations in our state. This process places the burden on government to prove on an annual basis that regulations are merited, balanced and conscious of their impacts on business.

What are some of the keys to success?

Removing Outdated or Outmoded Regulations– All rules—except those mandated by federal law or the Utah Constitution—expire annually unless reauthorized by the Legislature or Governor.

Assessing Impact on Business – State agencies, rulemaking boards or commissions must comment on the potential impact regulation would have on business, and such comments must be inclusive of businesses that are directly impacted by the regulation. This includes the anticipated costs or benefits and methods to mitigate any negative fiscal impact a proposed rule may have on small businesses.

Smart Regulation Rulemaking Process –This rulemaking process is intended to provide transparency to state administrative rules, allowing the public and business community the opportunity to be engaged.

7 Phases of the Rulemaking Process

  • Authorization –The agency must be authorized to regulate by the Utah Constitution or state statute.

  • Pre-proposal –The agency identifies a need for a new rule or a change to an existing rule, then drafts a rule involving affected persons and completes a rule analysis.

  • Proposal –The agency files the Proposed Rule with the Division of Administrative Rules, who then verifies that the information required by statute has been provided and publishes the Proposed Rule in the Utah State Bulletin.

  • Comment Period –Public may submit comment to the agency about the Proposed Rule.

  • Comment Consideration –The agency considers the public comment received and makes changes to the Proposed Rule if necessary.

  • Adoption –The agency notifies the Division of the rule’s effective date and the rule is codified into the Utah Administrative Code.

  • Enforcement –  The agency enforces the rule.