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Searching 2023-2024 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

The Vermont Statutes Online have been updated to include the actions of the 2023 session of the General Assembly.

NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.

Title 3 : Executive

Chapter 025 : Administrative Procedure

Subchapter 003 : Rulemaking; Procedures; Guidance Documents

(Cite as: 3 V.S.A. § 838)
  • § 838. Filing of proposed rules

    (a) Filing; information. Proposed rules shall be filed with the Secretary of State in a format determined by the Secretary that includes the following information:

    (1) The name of the agency and the subject or title of the rule.

    (2) An analysis of economic impact.

    (3) An analysis of environmental impact.

    (4) An explanation of all material incorporated by reference, if any.

    (5) The text of the proposed rule.

    (6) An annotated text showing changes from existing rules. The annotated text of the rule shall include markings to indicate clearly changed wording from any existing rule.

    (7) An explanation of the strategy for maximizing public input on the proposed rule as prescribed by the Interagency Committee on Administrative Rules.

    (8) A brief summary of the scientific information upon which the proposed rule is based, to the extent the proposed rule depends on scientific information for its validity. The summary shall refer to the scientific studies on which the proposed rule is based and shall explain the procedure for obtaining such studies from the agency.

    (9) A concise summary in plain language explaining the rule and its effect.

    (10) The specific statutory authority for the rule, and, if none exists, the general statutory authority for the rule.

    (11) An explanation of why the rule is necessary.

    (12) An explanation of the people, enterprises, and government entities affected by the rule.

    (13) The name, address, and telephone number of an individual in the agency able to answer questions and receive comments on the proposal.

    (14) A proposed schedule for completing the requirements of this chapter, including, if there is a hearing scheduled, the date, time, and place of that hearing and a deadline for receiving comments.

    (15) Whether the rule contains an exemption from inspection and copying of public records or otherwise contains a Public Records Act exemption by designating information as confidential or limiting its public release and, if so, the asserted statutory authority for the exemption and a brief summary of the reason for the exemption.

    (16) A signed and dated statement by the adopting authority approving the contents of the filing.

    (b) Economic impact analysis; rules affecting small businesses and school districts.

    (1) General requirements. The economic impact analysis shall analyze the anticipated costs and benefits to be expected from adoption of the rule. Specifically, each economic impact analysis shall, for each requirement in the rule:

    (A) list each category of people, enterprises, and government entities potentially affected and estimate for each the costs and benefits anticipated; and

    (B) compare the economic impact of the rule with the economic impact of other alternatives to the rule, including having no rule on the subject or a rule having separate requirements for small businesses.

    (2) Small businesses. When a rule provides for the regulation of a small business, in the economic impact analysis, the agency shall include, when appropriate, a specific and clearly demarcated evaluation of ways by which a small business can reduce the cost and burden of compliance by specifying less numerous, detailed, or frequent reporting requirements or alternative methods of compliance. When an agency determines that such an evaluation is not appropriate, the economic impact statement shall briefly explain the reasons for this determination.

    (A) An agency shall also include in this evaluation its consideration of creative, innovative, or flexible methods of compliance with the rule when the agency finds, in writing, that these methods of compliance would not:

    (i) significantly reduce the effectiveness of the rule in achieving the objectives or purposes of the statutes being implemented or interpreted; or

    (ii) be inconsistent with the language or purpose of statutes that are implemented or interpreted by the rule; or

    (iii) increase the risk to the health, safety, or welfare of the public or to the beneficiaries of the regulation or compromise the environmental standards of the State.

    (B) This subdivision (2) shall not apply when the regulation is incidental to:

    (i) a purchase of goods or services by the State or an agency thereof; or

    (ii) the payment for goods or services by the State or an agency thereof for the benefit of a third party.

    (3) School districts. If a rule affects or provides for the regulation of public education and public schools, the economic impact analysis shall include a specific and clearly demarcated evaluation of the cost implications to local school districts and school taxpayers and shall clearly state the associated costs. This evaluation also shall include consideration of alternatives to the rule, including having no rule on the subject, that would reduce or ameliorate costs to local school districts while achieving the objectives or purposes of the proposed rule.

    (4) Most appropriate method. In addition, each economic impact analysis shall conclude that the rule is the most appropriate method of achieving the regulatory purpose. Only employees of the agency and information either already available to the agency or available at reasonable cost need be used in preparing economic impact analyses.

    (c) Environmental impact analysis. The environmental impact analysis shall:

    (1) Analyze the anticipated environmental impacts, whether positive or negative, from adoption of the rule. Examples of environmental impacts include the emission of greenhouse gases; the discharge of pollutants to water; and effects on the ability of the environment to provide benefits such as food and fresh water, regulation of climate and water flow, and recreation.

    (2) Compare the environmental impact of the rule with the environmental impact of other alternatives to the rule, including having no rule on the subject.

    (d) Incorporation by reference.

    (1) A rule may incorporate by reference all or any part of a code, standard, or rule that has been adopted by an agency of the United States, this State, or another state or by a nationally recognized organization or association, if:

    (A) repeating verbatim the text of the code, standard, or rule in the rule would be unduly cumbersome, expensive, or otherwise inexpedient; and

    (B) the reference in the rule fully identifies the incorporated code, standard, or rule by citation, date, and place where copies are available.

    (2) Materials incorporated by reference shall be readily available to the public. As used in this subsection, “readily available” means that all of the following apply:

    (A) Each filing states where copies of the incorporated code, standard, or rule are available in written or electronic form from the agency adopting the rule or the agency of the United States, this State, another state, or the organization or association originally issuing the code, standard, or rule.

    (B) A copy of the code, standard, or rule is made available for public inspection at the principal office of the agency, and is available at that office for copying in the manner set forth in 1 V.S.A. § 316 and subject to the exceptions set forth in 1 V.S.A. § 317(c).

    (C) The incorporated code, standard, or rule is made available for free public access online unless the agency is prevented from providing such access by law or legally enforceable contract. (Added 1981, No. 82, § 6; amended 1985, No. 56, § 3; 1999, No. 146 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; 2001, No. 149 (Adj. Sess.), § 50, eff. June 27, 2002; 2007, No. 209 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2015, No. 3, § 1; 2017, No. 156 (Adj. Sess.), § 2.)