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Know the Rules

An overview of state agency rulemaking

Good Governance

State laws have a significant impact on public health.

Laws include statutes, which legislatures enact, or rules (known as regulations in some states), which state agencies and departments adopt to interpret statutes or fill in the details of statutes. The development of rules is a public process, which gives advocates the opportunity to influence their adoption.

ChangeLab Solutions developed this primer to provide an overview of formal rulemaking at the state level to help advocates participate in the process. It outlines the three steps of the rulemaking process – notice to the public, public comment, and rule adoption – to highlight opportunities for input. It also includes tips to help advocates track the rule’s progress, educate the public about the issue, and mobilize their networks.