Rulemaking Basics: MN Food Code Rule Revision - EH: Minnesota Department of Health

Rulemaking Basics
Minnesota Food Code Rule Revision

The Rulemaking Process, Documents, and Time Line

The rulemaking process is governed by Minnesota Statutes, chapter 14, and Minnesota Rules, chapter 1400. This is a short summary of the main parts of the process, important documents, and time line for developing and adopting rules. If you have questions about the process, contact Linda D. Prail at 651-201-5792 or

  • Request for Comments. The Request for Comments initiates the rulemaking process. For this project, we published the Request in the December 21, 2009 State Register and mailed it to our respective mailing lists.
  • Proposed Rules. We have not yet begun the process of writing amendments to the Minnesota Food Code. The Revisor of Statutes will review the rules draft and edit, as necessary, for form and style.
  • Statement of Need and Reasonableness. The Departments are required to justify that each rule requirement is needed and reasonable. “Needed” means that there are problems or a legislative directive that requires us to adopt or amend rules. “Reasonable” means that a proposed requirement is a reasonable solution to a problem. The justification will be in a document called the Statement of Need and Reasonableness (SONAR). Along with our analysis of each requirement in the rules, the SONAR also sets out our statutory authority for the rules and contains a modified cost/benefit analysis.
  • Notice of Intent to Adopt Rules. When we have finished writing the rules, we will publish in the State Register a Notice of Intent to Adopt Rules, along with the proposed rules. We will also mail the Notice and proposed rules to interested persons and to certain legislative committees.
  • 30-Day Comment Period. After the Notice of Intent to Adopt Rules is published, there is a 30-day comment period, during which persons may submit written comments on the proposed rules. Persons may also request a hearing on the rules during the 30-day comment period.
  • Rules Hearing. If there are 25 hearing requests, the departments are required to hold a hearing on the rules before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ).
  • Review by Administrative Law Judge. Whether or not there is a hearing, an ALJ review the proposed rules and all the documents from the rulemaking. The ALJ will approve the rules if the Departments have statutory authority for the rules, have shown the rules to be needed and reasonable, have given proper notice of the proposed rules, and has complied with all other rulemaking requirements.
  • Governor Veto. After the rules are adopted by the Departments and approved by the ALJ, the Governor has 14 days to review them. The Governor may veto the rule amendments or let them become effective.
  • Notice of Adoption. After the Governor’s review period, [the department] will publish a Notice of Adoption in the State Register.
  • Effective Date. The amendments to the rules become effective the following January 1 or June 1, whichever comes first, after the Notice of Adoption is published.
  • Time Line. This process of drafting amendments to the rules can be open-ended and we do not know when we will have a draft rule. The formal part of the rulemaking process, from publishing the Notice of Intent to Adopt Rules until the date the rules become effective, takes about three months if there is no hearing and about five months if there is a hearing.

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Updated Friday, September 09, 2016 at 01:53PM