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Rulemaking Process Overview

In addition to state law, each agency develops and adopts its own rules and regulations, which can be found in the Indiana Administrative Code. State law allows for the rulemaking process in order to improve the agencies' ability to regulate their industries and better serve the public.

The IURC's rules and regulations can be found at 170 IAC, which is the agency's portion of the Indiana Administrative Code. By definition, a "rule" means the whole or any part of an agency statement of general applicability that: 1) has or is designed to have the effect of the law; and 2) implements, interprets, or prescribes a law or policy or the organization, procedure, or practice requirements of an agency.

Rulemakings are listed using an IURC rulemaking number and a Legislative Services Agency number. An IURC rulemaking number (RM# XX-XX) is assigned according to the year and order in which it is initiated; whereas, a Legislative Services Agency number (LSA# XX-XX) is assigned after the notice of intent is published, according to the year and order in which it is received.

Before the IURC may add or make changes to its rules, it works with stakeholders to develop a draft proposed rule and then initiates the formal rulemaking process. The process ensures the opportunity for public comment and allows the issues to be fully vetted. The IURC's Office of General Counsel oversees this process and serves as the point of contact for interested parties.

Rulemaking Process

1. Rule Development: The IURC works with interested stakeholders to discuss issues and develop a draft proposed rule prior to commencing the formal rulemaking process.

2. Approval of Rulemaking Moratorium Exception: Executive Order 13-03 (Jan. 14, 2013), imposed a regulatory moratorium limiting rulemakings unless the rulemaking meets one of the enumerated exceptions in the moratorium. At this stage, the IURC requests approval from the Indiana Office of Management and Budget to proceed with the rulemaking under one or more exceptions from the regulatory moratorium.

3. Notice of Intent to Adopt a Rule: The Notice of Intent commences the formal rulemaking process, which must be completed within a year after the notice is published. If more time is necessary, the IURC may file for an extension. The IURC files the notice of intent with the Legislative Services Agency (LSA) and the notice is published in the Indiana Register.

4. Approval of Fiscal and Financial Impact: In this stage, the IURC files with the State Budget Agency (SBA) the fiscal impact the rule will have on regulated entities and state and local government; the cost-benefit analysis of the rules; and the impact on any small businesses. SBA may then approve the fiscal impact and other financial impact documents.

5. Proposed Rule: After SBA approves the fiscal impact, the IURC adopts a Proposed Rule at a public meeting of the IURC Commissioners.

6. Public Hearing and Public Comment: The IURC will hold a public hearing, during which time anyone can provide oral comments on the rule. The IURC will also have a written comment period, with oral and written comments having equal weight. Due to the open process, a rule may undergo several rounds of changes.

7. Final Rule: The IURC considers the public comments and may make changes based on those comments to form the Final Rule. After the IURC approves the Final Rule, it is circulated to other state agencies.

8. State Review: The Office of the Attorney General and the Governor’s Office will review and approve the rule. After that, it will be filed with LSA and becomes effective 30 days later, unless the rule specifies a different effective date.

9. Effective Rule: The rule has been approved by all state signatories and is now an enforceable administrative rule and published in the Indiana Administrative Code.

The formal rulemaking process after the publication of the notice of intent can be accomplished in about 10 months, depending on whether necessary approvals can be obtained. Rules expire (sunset) after seven years unless they are readopted. The process for readopting rules is abbreviated and may not involve all of the steps outlined above in the rulemaking process.