- What is the difference between a practice, a procedure, and a rule?
- When will a notice of rulemaking be published?
- Is a public hearing required?
- When can the public hearing be held?
- When is the deadline for public comment?
- How many copies are filed with the Office of the Secretary of State?
- Why do all the same forms that were filed with the Proposed Rule get filed again with the Final Proposed Rule?
- Why can't I reformat the forms?
- Why doesn't spell check work?
- Why doesn't the information fit in the fields on the form?
- What happens if LCAR Objects to a Rule?
- When will a rule go into effect?
- How does the filing with the secretary of state vary from the filing with the Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules (LCAR)?
- How do I contact the APA Clerk?
- How do I learn more about the APA process?
What is the difference between a practice, a
procedure, and a rule?
3 V.S.A. § 801(b) (7-9) defines practices, procedures and rules as:
(7) "Practice"; means a substantive or procedural requirement of an agency, affecting one or more persons who are not employees of the agency, which is used by the agency in the discharge of its powers and duties. The term includes all such requirements, regardless of whether they are stated in writing;
(8) "Procedure" means a practice which has been adopted in the manner provided in section 835 of this title, either at the election of the agency or as the result of a request under subsection 831(b) of this title;
(9) "Rule" means each agency statement of general applicability which implements, interprets, or prescribes law or policy and which has been adopted in the manner provided by sections 836-844 of this title.
When will a notice of rulemaking be published?
Proposed rules that are received by 3:30 p.m. on the last scheduled day of the work week will be posted online (https://secure.vermont.gov/SOS/rules/index.php) 1 week from receipt (on the Wednesday of the week) and published in the newspapers of record 2 weeks from receipt (on the Thursday of the week). A new Publication Calculator is now available to help you calculate the publication and hearing dates.
Is a public hearing required?
Public hearings are not required unless petitioned by 25 persons, by a governmental subdivision or agency, by the interagency committee on administrative rules, or by an association having 25 or more members. However if an agency does not hold a hearing and is subsequently petitioned for a hearing the agency must publish a second round of notices in the newspapers of record.
When can the public hearing be held?
Public hearings can be held no sooner than 30 days following the posting of the notice online.
When is the deadline for public comment?
The deadline for public comment can be no sooner than 7 days following your last public hearing. If you have held no hearing, the deadline for public comment shall be no sooner than 14 days following the publication in the newspapers of record.
How many copies are filed with the Office
of the Secretary of State?
One copy of the filing is sufficient for the Office of the Secretary of State as long as it is signed with original signatures on each page requiring signature.
Why do all of the same forms that were filed with the Proposed
Rule get filed again with the Final Proposed Rule?
3 V.S.A. § 841 (b) states that "the filing of the final proposal shall include all information required to be filed with the original proposal..."
Why can't I reformat the forms?
The forms are locked so that they cannot be manipulated. This has been done to ensure that the information from the coversheet will fit into the APA tracking database, to minimize the size of notices in the papers and so that all of the rule filings will have a consistent look.
Why doesn't spell check work?
The spell check utility included in Microsoft Word does not work on the APA Forms due to the locked fields. However, the newest forms include an embedded macro which will allow the utility to work despite the locked state of the form. If the button on the last page of the form is still not working you may need to enable the macro by altering the macro security setting in WORD.
Why doesn't the information fit in the fields on the form?
The space allotted to the fields on the forms is the maximum allowed within the database. In the past, agencies have ignored the 150 word maximum on summaries and other data portions of the forms and this office has been unable to enter the material into the system.
If a title of the rule does not fit, please change the title so it does fit; do not abbreviate in Title of the rule. If it is absolutely imperative that the title be longer than the space allowed please contact the APA Clerk and explain (extenuating circumstances will be taken into consideration).
What happens if LCAR Objects to a Rule?
The Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules may choose to object to a rule. Should this occur the committee will contact the agency in writing. The agency then has 14 days to respond to the committee's objection. The committee will meet again and vote whether to modify the objection or to certify the objection with the secretary of state based upon the response of the agency. If the objection is certified with the Office of the Secretary of State and the agency adopts the rule anyway, the agency will lose the presumption of validity in any court action related to that rule.
When will a rule go into effect?
Adopted rules take effect 15 days following the filing of the adopted rule with the secretary of state, or at a later time provided in the text of the rule or on its adopting page.
How does the filing with the Office of the
Secretary of State vary from the
filing with the Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules (LCAR)?
The signatures on the documents filed with the Office of the Secretary of State must be original (not photocopied or typed).
How do I contact the APA Clerk?
The APA Clerk can be reached at the Vermont State Archives and Records Administration (VSARA), 1078 US Route 2 Middlesex, Montpelier, VT 05633-7701. The direct phone number is 828-2863 and email is .
How do I learn more about the APA process?
The Office of the Secretary of State periodically conducts training seminars, contact the APA clerk () for more details. The training lasts approximately 4 hours. The seminar discusses the history of the APA Process and the role of ICAR, LCAR, and the Office of the Secretary of State in the process. The seminar discusses the progression of a rule through the filing process, and how to avoid common pitfalls along the way, but does not discuss how to draft the text of rules.
- If you have general questions about the rulemaking process, please contact
- Louise Corliss by e-mail at or by phone 802-828-2863
This page was last updated on: 2012-06-13.