Administrative Rules in Oklahoma

Next week on February 1, 2017, the Oklahoma Coalition for Affordable Housing will host a Rules Input Luncheon to discuss proposed changes by the Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency to several rules dealing with Housing Trust Funds and the Affordable Housing Tax Credit program. Please join us as we collaborate to make change for the better of all Oklahomans.

Click Here for Registration Information.

Many citizens do not understand what the rule making process entails. The following article provides an excellent summary of rulemaking in Oklahoma.

Administrative Rules — The Other Half of Oklahoma’s Codified Law

More than half of Oklahoma’s codified law is written by state agencies. Statements written by state agencies which have the effect of law are called administrative rules.

Before an agency can start writing rules, the agency must be authorized to regulate. Every year, the Legislature enacts a wide variety of laws. In many instances, the Legislature assigns responsibility for implementing these laws to an administrative agency.

Direct, Binding Effect

By their very nature, administrative rules have a direct effect on YOUR life and business. For example, there are administrative rules that regulate:

  • fishing and hunting seasons;
  • smoking in public places;
  • the quality of the water you drink;
  • the procedures and devices used for breath-alcohol analysis; and
  • licensing of professions such as physicians, dentists, architects, and plumbers.

Your Opportunity to Participate

The Administrative Procedures Act [75 O.S.,Sections 250 et seq.] sets out a comprehensive process that provides YOU with the opportunity to participate in the rulemaking process. State agencies are required to accept public comment about proposed rules, notify you if you have requested advance notice of rulemaking proceedings, and may also hold hearings on proposed rules.

Finding the Rules that Affect YOU

The challenge becomes finding out about the administrative rules that affect YOU. The OAR provides access to all of its publications online. If you know that a particular state agency regulates an issue in which you are interested, you may contact that state agency and request to be added to a mailing list.

Citizen Participation in Oklahoma’s Rulemaking Process

Participation in the workings of government is one of the hallmarks of democracy. Oklahoma’s citizens have the opportunity to actively participate in the rulemaking process. This page answers questions about how you can better understand and participate in the rulemaking process in Oklahoma.

What is an administrative rule?
An administrative rule is a law adopted by a state government agency. The Legislature must pass a law authorizing or mandating a state agency to write rules.

How do rules affect me?
Rules affect different aspects of life in Oklahoma. For example, if you fish, the Department of Wildlife Conservation regulates the process for obtaining a fishing license. When you go to a restaurant, the Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission creates the rules that the restaurant must follow when serving alcohol.

What is the Oklahoma Register?
Oklahoma Register is Oklahoma’s official semi-monthly publication of rules that are in the process of being created, amended or repealed. The Oklahoma Register provides a snapshot of all regulatory activity happening in Oklahoma.

How can the Oklahoma Register help me?
The Oklahoma Register includes notices of proposed new and amended rules, recently-enacted emergency rules, and finally adopted permanent rules. You can follow a rule’s progress in the Oklahoma Register and find out what changes are being proposed, where a public hearing will be held, and who to contact if you have questions or want to comment on the rule.

How can I participate in the rulemaking process?
Citizen participation in the rulemaking process is important. Ways to participate include:

  • Contact the agency directly to express support of or concerns about a proposed rule, orally or in writing, during the comment period announced in the Notice of Rulemaking Intent published in the Oklahoma Register. Each published Notice includes contact information.
  • Attend a public hearing, to provide comments or to simply listen. Each Notice of Rulemaking Intent published in the Oklahoma Register will identify if a hearing on the proposed action has been scheduled.
  • Request an agency to develop a new rule or amend an existing rule, but keep in mind that the agency must have been given the authority by the Legislature to write the rule.

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