The Basics of Rulemaking and How to Make Your Voice Heard
When the Board of Animal Health undertakes rulemaking, we follow the Minnesota Administrative Procedures Act. Whenever the Board’s rules are changed, you have an opportunity to get involved.
How can I participate in the Board of Animal Health’s rulemaking process?
- Sign-up to receive electronic notices and updates for the Board’s rule(s) of interest.
- Check the Board’s docket of rulemaking activities: Public Rulemaking Docket.
- Provide comments when notices are posted on the Board’s Public Rulemaking page.
What is a Request for Comments (RFC)?
- The RFC is the legal notice of the Board’s intent to begin a particular rulemaking, and it provides the first opportunity for public comment on the rulemaking.
- The RFC and our rulemaking webpage will both tell you where and how to submit your comments.
- Draft rule language is typically not available at the RFC stage. We just want your feedback on the ideas described in the RFC. At this point there is often a description of the intended changes provided on the rulemaking webpage.
- If you have ideas about the rulemaking we describe, please let us know by submitting comments. Sharing your ideas at an early stage in the rulemaking helps to ensure informed decision-making on our part.
- We want to hear from supporters and opponents of the rulemaking. Voice your ideas and opinions.
How to draft an effective public comment:
- Tell us specific actions or changes you would like us to make.
- Provide us with specific information, data & resources you would like us to see.
- Tell us about specific impacts you think the rule will have and why.
- Give us your opinion, and also the reasons supporting your opinion.
- Offer language changes to solve the rule issue you identify.
Comments are not votes. While the Board will consider all comments, whether or not we make the changes you suggest is not based on the number of comments made in favor of or against a proposed change. The Board makes the decision on the final content of the rules.
What is the purpose of a Notice (such as a Notice of Intent to Adopt)?
- It is legal notification we are planning to adopt the proposed rules and want to hear comments about them.
- We can publish different types of Notices (e.g., notice of intent to adopt rules with a hearing, notice of intent to adopt rules without a hearing, or dual notice) depending on the expected level of controversy.
- Each Notice will contain information pertinent to that rulemaking (i.e., contact person, subject of rules, rule draft, deadlines, how to obtain a Statement of Need and Reasonableness, how to comment or request a hearing, etc.)
How do I provide comments?
- The Notice and our rulemaking webpage will tell you where and how to submit comments.
- At a minimum, you can state that you support or oppose the whole rule.
- For specific comments, provide the specific cite(s), if rule language is available.
- Describe what concerns you have with the rule(s) and why.
- Provide, if possible, alternative rule language that addresses your concern.
- Comments submitted are public information, including the commenter’s name, and are generally posted on a rulemaking webpage.
What happens at a rule hearing?
- An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) is in charge of the hearing and will conduct it according to specific conditions.
- Board staff demonstrate that all relevant legal and procedural requirements of law for public rulemaking have been met, and demonstrate the need for and reasonableness of each portion of the proposed rule.
- The ALJ will provide the opportunity to speak and ask questions, but may limit repetitive or immaterial statements.
- Anyone may speak at the hearing or submit comments or information into the record at that time.
- The hearing will be recorded or a court reporter will prepare a transcript.
What happens after a hearing?
- There is always an opportunity to submit additional comments and information after the hearing. The length of that additional comment period is determined by the ALJ, depending on the degree of complexity and the amount of controversy.
- At the close of the post-hearing comment period, there will be an opportunity to rebut the comments made at the hearing. The rebuttal period is five days after the close of the comment period and no new information can be submitted during that rebuttal period.
- The ALJ will review the record, including all the comments received during the comment periods, hearing, and rebuttal period. The ALJ will issue a report that either approves the rules for adoption or identifies defects that must be corrected before the rules can be adopted.
How do I know a rule is completed?
- A final adoption Notice will be published in the Minnesota State Register.
- The Board will send an electronic Notice to those individuals or organizations that have subscribed to receive electronic notices.
- The information will be located for at least one year on the Board’s public rulemaking website.