The rule-making process
In order to implement various sections of the Ohio Revised Code, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) adopts administrative rules. Rules which have been adopted by the PUCO must then be approved by the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR). After JCARR’s approval, the rules are codified in the Ohio Administrative Code.
Law requires the PUCO to review each of its rules every five years.
PUCO rulemaking proceedings are identified by the ORD case code in the PUCO's Docketing Information System (DIS).
Rule review process
The process begins with a rules workshop at which stakeholders and the public can attend and informally provide verbal comments to PUCO staff about the rule pending review. Then PUCO staff prepares proposed rules for written comment and allows interested parties the opportunity to comment on the proposed changes. If comments are received, reply comments are usually also permitted. The PUCO also evaluates rules to complete a business impact analysis (BIA) to determine if there is an adverse impact on business and provides the draft rules and the BIA to the Common Sense Initiative (CSI). PUCO rules are issued for comment in a case before the PUCO and can be found in our DIS system. After all comments and replies have been considered, the Commission will issue an order approving the proposed rules and directing that the rules be filed with JCARR.
Proposed changes may be further modified if any party files for rehearing.
Rules filed with JCARR
Once new rules or changes to existing rules are approved by the PUCO, the proposed rules are filed for review with JCARR, the Legislative Service Commission (LSC), and the Secretary of State. Proposed rules which have been filed by the PUCO are available from the Register of Ohio.
LSC reviews the proposed rules for compliance with the LSC Rules Drafting Manual. JCARR reviews proposed new, amended and rescinded rules to ensure that:
- The rules do not exceed the scope of the PUCO's statutory authority.
- The rules do not conflict with the PUCO's existing rules or those of another rule-making agency.
- The rules do not conflict with the intent of the legislature in enacting the statute under which the rule is proposed.
- The PUCO has submitted a complete and accurate summary and fiscal analysis of the proposed rule, amendment or rescission.
- The PUCO has demonstrated through the business impact analysis, recommendations from the Common Sense Initiative office, and the memorandum of response that the regulatory intent of the proposed rule or revised proposed rule justifies its adverse impact on businesses in this state, if any.
Effective date of rules
The effective date of a rule is determined by two different factors:
- The date on which the rule leaves JCARR jurisdiction (which lasts 65 days from the date of original filing or 30 days from the date of refiling); and
- The date on which the PUCO files the rule in final form with JCARR, LSC and the Secretary of State.
The PUCO assigns an effective date which cannot be less than 10 days from the date of final filing.