Overview of the Regulatory Process

A “regulation” is any rule, regulation, order or standard of general application or the amendment, supplement, or revision of any rule, regulation, order, or standard adopted by any state agency to implement, interpret, or make specific the law enforced or administered by it. When adopting regulations, every agency, department, board, bureau, or commission in the executive branch of the California state government must follow the rulemaking procedures in the Administrative Procedure Act.

The Administrative Procedures Act requirements are designed to provide the public with a meaningful opportunity to participate in the adoption of regulations or rules that have the force of law by California state agencies. The rulemaking process includes comprehensive public notice and comment requirements. It also requires that documents and information on which the rulemaking action is based are available for review and inspection. Additional information regarding California’s Administrative Procedures Act can be found on the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) website at www.oal.ca.gov/rulemaking_process.

In addition to going through the formal rulemaking process set forth in the Administrative Procedures Act, boards and bureaus within the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) must also undergo an internal review process. The development and review of regulations is a collaborative effort, involving Board members and staff, DCA legal staff, budget staff, and executive staff, and staff of the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency. The DCA has a four-phase process to approve regulatory packages: (1) Concept; (2) Production; (3) Initial and (4) Final.

(1) CONCEPT PHASE

Regulation Development
Preparing Regulatory Package
Departmental Review
OAL Public Comment Period
Finalizing Regulatory Package
DCA Regulations Final Review
Final Departmental Review
Submission to OAL for Review
OAL Decision

Regulation Development: The first stage of the regulatory process is to develop the regulatory proposal. This is known as the concept phase. Regulations may be required to implement a new law or regulatory changes may be necessary to address an issue raised by Board members, Board staff, the Legislature, licensees, or other stakeholders. In this phase, the Board and/or Board Committee(s) may work on drafting regulatory language, Board staff will work with DCA Legal staff to address any concerns with the draft regulatory text, and the Board will ultimately adopt the regulatory language.

(2) PRODUCTION PHASE

Regulation Development
Preparing Regulatory Package
Departmental Review
OAL Public Comment Period
Finalizing Regulatory Package
DCA Regulations Final Review
Final Departmental Review
Submission to OAL for Review
OAL Decision

Preparing Regulatory Package: In this stage, Board staff are working on preparing the required regulatory documents including the Notice of Proposed Regulatory Action, Initial Statement of Reasons, and the Economic and Fiscal Impact Statement. Board staff review Board meeting materials, webcasts, and meeting minutes to assist in the development of these documents which must justify why the regulatory changes are necessary. Board staff may also work closely with DCAs Budget Office to develop the Economic and Fiscal Impact Statement.

In this stage, Board staff work collaboratively with DCA Regulations Counsel. DCA Regulations Counsel propose recommended changes to the regulatory documents (Note: Since the regulatory text is already approved at this time, ideally, there should be no changes to the text. Regulatory Counsel would have already reviewed and sought second-level review of the text to ensure the language is clear, concise, non-repetitive, etc.). Board staff then incorporate recommended changes prior to submitting the regulatory package back to the Boards Regulations Counsel. Board staff may also meet with Regulations Counsel and/or Budget Staff to provide additional information about the Boards licensing or enforcement processes in relation to the proposed regulation. At this stage, Legal and Budget approval of the package is obtained. (i.e., Regulatory Counsel approves the package and Budgets signs off of Form 399.)

Regulation Development
Preparing Regulatory Package
Departmental Review
OAL Public Comment Period
Finalizing Regulatory Package
DCA Regulations Final Review
Final Departmental Review
Submission to OAL for Review
OAL Decision

Departmental Review: Upon approval by the Boards Regulations Counsel and DCA Budget staff, the entire regulatory package is submitted to the Regulations Coordinator, who then prepares the package for the DCA Director and the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agencys review and approval. Throughout this stage, additional changes to the regulatory language and/or regulatory documents may be requested by DCA or the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency.

(3) INITIAL PHASE

Regulation Development
Preparing Regulatory Package
Departmental Review
OAL Public Comment Period
Finalizing Regulatory Package
DCA Regulations Final Review
Final Departmental Review
Submission to OAL for Review
OAL Decision

OAL Public Comment Period: Upon approval by the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency, the regulatory proposal will be submitted to the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) to be published in the California Regulatory Notice Register. This commences the initial phase of the process. OAL publishes the Notice Register every Friday and the publication date starts the formal 45-day public comment period as well as the one-year deadline to submit the completed rulemaking file to OAL. If the Board makes changes to the regulatory language in response to public comments, the regulatory proposal must be made available to the public for an additional 15-day.

(4) FINAL PHASE

Regulation Development
Preparing Regulatory Package
Departmental Review
OAL Public Comment Period
Finalizing Regulatory Package
DCA Regulations Final Review
Final Departmental Review
Submission to OAL for Review
OAL Decision

Finalizing Regulatory Package: The Board must respond in writing to every comment received during the public comment period. In this stage, Board staff work with the Boards Regulations Counsel to develop proposed responses to the public comments, which must be approved by the Board. Board staff then prepare the Final Statement of Reasons which must outline any changes made to the regulatory language and updates to any information contained in the Initial Statement of Reasons such as changes to the fiscal and/or economic impact or additional materials to include in the record. The Final Statement of Reasons will also include the Boards approved responses to the public comments.

Regulation Development
Preparing Regulatory Package
Departmental Review
OAL Public Comment Period
Finalizing Regulatory Package
DCA Regulations Final Review
Final Departmental Review
Submission to OAL for Review
OAL Decision

DCA Regulations Final Review: Upon completion of the Final Statement of Reasons, Board staff submits the entire regulatory proposal to the Boards Regulations Counsel for final review. In this stage, Board staff work collaboratively with the Boards Regulations Counsel. The Regulations Counsel may propose recommended changes to the Final Statement of Reasons or request additional underlying documents. Board staff will work with the Boards Regulations Counsel to address any concerns prior to the final submission to DCA.

Regulation Development
Preparing Regulatory Package
Departmental Review
OAL Public Comment Period
Finalizing Regulatory Package
DCA Regulations Final Review
Final Departmental Review
Submission to OAL for Review
OAL Decision

Final Departmental Review: Upon approval by the Boards Regulations Counsel, Board staff submits the entire regulatory package for the Final Departmental Review which involves reviews by the DCA Director, DCA Budget Office, and the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency (Note: Agency review may not be required if there are no comments or the comments do not result in modifications to the text). Throughout this stage, additional documents may be requested or changes to the regulatory documents may be requested by DCA or the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency.

Regulation Development
Preparing Regulatory Package
Departmental Review
OAL Public Comment Period
Finalizing Regulatory Package
DCA Regulations Final Review
Final Departmental Review
Submission to OAL for Review
OAL Decision

Submission to OAL for Review: Upon approval by the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency, the completed rulemaking file is submitted to OAL. OAL has 30 working days to approve or deny the regulatory proposal. During this stage, Board staff will work with the OAL Attorney to address any concerns with the regulatory documents or make non-substantive changes to the regulatory language. Board and DCA staff may also work with the Department of Finance to obtain approval of the Economic and Fiscal Impact Statement.

Regulation Development
Preparing Regulatory Package
Departmental Review
OAL Public Comment Period
Finalizing Regulatory Package
DCA Regulations Final Review
Final Departmental Review
Submission to OAL for Review
OAL Decision

OAL Decision: Unless the Board requested an early effective date, upon approval by OAL, regulations become effective on one of four quarterly dates based on when OAL files the final regulations with the Secretary of State (SOS). Following approval by OAL, Board staff will work internally to implement the new regulations.

Additional Resources

How can I get involved in the regulatory process?

The Board’s current proposed regulations can be found at www.speechandhearing.ca.gov/board_activity/lawsregs/proposed_regulations.

You can receive updates on regulatory changes and opportunities for public participation by subscribing to the Board's Legislation/Regulation Changes e-mail notification list at www.speechandhearing.ca.gov/webapplications/apps/subscribe.

How can I track proposed regulations?

The Board provides an update on the status of each proposed regulation at Board meetings. For future meeting dates, visit https://www.speechandhearing.ca.gov/board_activity/meetings/index.shtml

Following each Board meeting, the status of each proposed regulation is published on the Board’s website at https://www.speechandhearing.ca.gov/board_activity/lawsregs/current_regulatory_updates.shtml

What happens to my comment once I submit it?

All comments submitted on proposed regulations become public record and are included in Board meeting materials and the completed rulemaking file submitted to OAL.

Board staff review all public comments and work with DCA Regulations Counsel to develop proposed responses to the public comments, which must be approved by the Board. For future meeting dates, visit https://www.speechandhearing.ca.gov/board_activity/meetings/index.shtml

If the Board determines that modification to the proposed regulatory text is necessary to address any raised concerns, the public will be notified of those changes and given an opportunity to respond to those changes.

When will the regulation go into effect?

The Board has one year after the publication in the California Regulatory Notice Register to complete the regulatory process. If the proposed changes do not specify a different date, , regulations become effective on one of four quarterly dates based on when the regulations are filed with the Secretary of State:

  • January 1, if filed between September 1 and November 30;
  • April 1, if filed between December 1 and February 29;
  • July 1, if filed between March 1 and May 31; and
  • October 1, if filed between June 1 and August 31.

How can I learn more about the regulatory process?

Please visit the Office of Administrative Law’s frequently asked questions page on the regular rulemaking process at www.oal.ca.gov/rulemaking_participation.

The Office of Administrative Law also provides free information sessions for members of the public on the rulemaking process. Please visit https://oal.ca.gov/training/.