The Office of Minority and Women’s Business Enterprise (OMWBE) rules are published and can be found through the Office of the Code Reviser starting with the most current rule making activity. For more information regarding OMWBE’s rulemaking, call us at 360-664-9750.
Washington's Rule Making Process
Laws or statutes passed by the Washington State Legislature and signed by the Governor are compiled in the Revised Codes of Washington (RCWs.) Rules called regulations or Washington Administrative Code (WAC) are adopted by agencies through a process mandated in law by the Washington’s Administrative Procedure Act (APA). The following rulemaking process is what government agencies must use to create, modify, or repeal rules in the WAC. A rule is a written policy or procedure by a state agency that is applicable to a group of people, industries, activities, or circumstances. They implement, interpret, apply, or enforce a state or federal law or court decision. The APA sets out three steps an agency must follow to adopt, amend, or repeal a rule.
Step 1: Notice of intent to change, adopt, or repeal a rule.
The first step is a pre-notice inquiry where an agency files a notice with the Office of the Code Reviser explaining it is considering a rule adoption or amendment. The Code Reviser publishes the notice in the Washington State Register twice a month. The Register is available at the Code Reviser’s web site. The agency sends copies of the pre-notice inquiry, electronically or in hard copy, either to any person whom has asked for such notice or to entities whom might be interested or impacted. Agencies may have a public meeting where interested parties can comment on the proposal or request written comments to take into consideration as it decides whether to go forward with the rulemaking.
Step 2: Proposed new or revised rule language.
If the agency decides to move forward with rulemaking, it will develop a draft considering all comments it has received. At this time, an agency must decide if the rule proposal will require a “small business economic impact statement”. This statement is required if a rule will impose more than minor costs on business or industry or if the legislative Joint Administrative Rules Review Committee requests a statement. If possible, the agency must reduce the costs the rule imposes on small businesses. This requirement does not apply to costs imposed by legislation or court directive. A “Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” and a copy of the proposed rule, is published in the register with the Code Reviser when the agency believes it has developed a final rule. The agency also sends the notice to interested parties and schedules a public hearing where anyone can make comments about the proposal. After the hearing, the agency considers all comments, including written ones, and makes any changes necessary to the proposed rule. If the changes are substantial, the agency may revise the draft rule, file another Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, send out a new notice, and hold another hearing. Prior to the adoption of the rule, the agency prepares a “concise explanatory statement”. This statement summarizes the agency’s reasons for adopting the rule, any comments received on the rule proposal, and the agency’s responses to those comments.
Step 3: Final Adoption of the Rule.
When the agency is ready, it will adopt the rule. The rule adoption is not a public process but consists of filing the final rule along with the “Rulemaking Order” with the Code Reviser. Rules normally become effective 31 days after they are filed. The Code Reviser publishes the order and the final rule in the register and sends notices to stakeholders it has adopted the rule. OMWBE is committed to providing equal access to its materials, programs and services for individuals with disabilities in unity with RCW49.60 Accommodation requests for people with disabilities can be made by calling toll free 866-208-1064. Persons who are deaf, deaf-blind or hard of hearing make a request by calling Washington State Relay at 711.