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An Act Relating To Rules; Creating Requirements For Proposing, Adopting, Amending Or Repealing Rules; Amending, Repealing And Enacting Sections Of The State Rules Act.

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Legislative URL:
SB 194 on
Emergency Clause:
SPREF [3] SRC/SJC-SRC [5] DP/a-SJC [9] DP/a [10] PASSED/S (39-0) [16] HJC API.

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Related Documents

SRC Committee Report
SJC Committee Report
Final Senate Vote
Fiscal Impact Report

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This bill makes a number of additions and amendments, adding detailed new requirements to the State Rules Act.

Regarding time limits on the adoption of proposed rules:

  • An agency may not adopt a rule until the public comment period has ended.
  • If an agency fails to take action on a proposed rule within two years after publication of the notice of proposed rulemaking, the rulemaking automatically terminates unless the agency takes action to extend the period by filing a statement of good cause and provides for additional public participation, comments and rule hearings.
  • If a rulemaking is terminated, the agency must provide notice to the public.
  • Within five days after adoption of a rule, an agency must file the adopted rule with the records center and provide notice to the public.
  • The records center must publish rules as soon as practicable after filing, but in no case later than 180 days after the date of adoption of the proposed rule.
  • A proposed rule does not take effect unless it is adopted and filed within the time limits set by this section.


Regarding notices of proposed rulemaking:

  • No later than 30 days before a public rule hearing the agency proposing a rule must provide to the public and publish in the New Mexico Register a notice of proposed rulemaking including information about the rule, how a full copy may be obtained, how a person may comment on the proposed rule, and information on where and when a public rule hearing will be held and how a person may participate in the hearing.
  • An agency may charge a reasonable fee for providing any records in non-electronic form, but may not charge a fee for providing any records in electronic form.
  • An internet link providing free access to the full text of the proposed rule must be included on the notice of proposed rulemaking.
  • If the agency changes the date of the public rule hearing or the deadline for submitting comments as stated in the notice, the agency must provide notice to the public of the change.


Regarding public participation and comments:

  • The notice of proposed rulemaking must specify a public comment period of at least 30 days during which a person may submit information and comment on the proposed rule in an electronic or written format or at a public rule hearing, if any.
  • The agency must consider all information and comment on a proposed rule that is submitted within the comment period.
  • At a public rule hearing, members of the public must be given a reasonable opportunity to submit data, views or arguments orally or in writing.
  • The public rule hearing must be open to the public and be recorded.


Other new sections require an agency to maintain a rulemaking record for each proposed rule; and to provide a concise explanatory statement to the public at the time a rule is adopted, including the agency’s reasons for adopting rule. The bill includes provisions for emergency rules; and a requirement that no rule is valid or enforceable if it conflicts with statute.


The attorney general would be required, no later than January 1, 2016, to adopt default procedural rules for a public rule hearing for use by agencies that have not adopted their own procedural rules. And the state records administrator may request that an agency review an agency rule that the state records administrator finds to conflict with statute.


On February 6th the Senate Rules Committee amended SB 194 to:

  • replace “Records Center” with “State Records Administrator” throughout the bill;
  • increase from five to fifteen days the time allowed for an agency to file an adopted rule with the State Records Administrator and provide notice to the public; and
  • remove the bill’s repeal of Section 14-4-5.1 NMSA 1978. That section provides that rules filed prior to July 1, 1995 will continue in effect if they were filed with the state records center in accordance with the law applicable at the time of filing, and they have not otherwise been repealed, amended, or superseded.


On February 16th the Senate Judiciary Committee amended SB 194 to:

  • allow an agency to distribute rulemaking information to the public by sending a postcard notice to persons who provide a postal address with an internet and street address where the information may be found;
  • remove a section allowing an agency to appoint a rule drafting committee to comment or make recommendations on the subject matter of a rulemaking under active consideration within the agency;
  • remove as a justification for adoption of an emergency rule an agency’s finding that the time required to complete the normal rulemaking procedures would cause the unanticipated loss of funding for an agency program; and
  • provide that an emergency rule that has expired after 180 days may not be readopted as an emergency rule.


A potential benefit of this bill might be greater uniformity in agency rulemaking procedures as well as increased public awareness of and participation in the rulemaking process due to increased public communication regarding proposed rules.