VIRGINIA REGISTER OF REGULATIONS HISTORY
- The Virginia Code Commission began publishing the Virginia Register of Regulations in October 1984.
- The Virginia Register of Regulations is Virginia’s official publication of state government regulations. In addition, the Virginia Register of Regulations includes petitions for rulemaking, emergency regulations, Governor's executive orders, state lottery regulations and director's orders, and State Corporation Commission orders and regulations.
- In the years leading up to the passage of the Federal Administrative Procedure Act in 1946, state bar associations and other interested groups began looking at how to streamline state administrative agencies’ procedures regarding rulemaking.
- In Virginia, the General Assembly passed a joint resolution in 1942 “directing the Virginia Advisory Legislative Council to make a study of the laws which create and define the jurisdiction and powers of administrative agencies,” and recommended the establishment of a Commission on Administrative Agencies.
- In 1944, the Virginia Advisory Legislative Council reported that it had asked all administrative agencies to file copies of their rules and regulations and suggested that the rules “be codified into a single publication” (HD 5, 1944). This was to be known as the Virginia State Register, edited by the Director of the Division of Statutory Research and Drafting, and subject to the direction and control of the Governor (Chapter 218, 1944 Acts of Assembly).
- In 1951, the Virginia Advisory Legislative Council recommended abolishing the Commission and the Administrative Code, citing lack of use of the Administrative Code (SD 7, 1951). The General Assembly enacted the General Administrative Agencies Act and repealed the Administrative Code of Virginia in 1952 (Chapter 703, 1952 Acts of Assembly).
- The Virginia Register Act, passed in 1973 and amended in 1975, called for the establishment of a Register of Regulations.
- The Administrative Process Act, enacted in 1975, established the process an agency must follow during the development, promulgation and application of the regulatory authority granted to it by the legislature.
- From 1975 to 1984, the Office of the Registrar of Regulations, under the authority of the Virginia Code Commission, published the Register of Regulations of the Agencies of the Commonwealth. The Register of Regulations of the Agencies of the Commonwealth, published annually, consisted of a summary of the agency's regulatory powers and listing of regulations of each agency. After 1984, this publication was renamed the Administrative Law Appendix.
- Major regulatory reform took place in the 1980s, resulting in the creation of the current Virginia Register of Regulations, which publishes the text of amended, newly adopted, and repealed regulations and notices of opportunities for the public to provide input into the regulatory process.
- Other changes to the Administrative Process Act included the adoption of public participation guidelines by state agencies; requirements for periodic reviews of regulations; and the revision of the system of executive and legislative oversight of the regulatory process.
- In 1993, the General Assembly authorized the codification and publication of a "Code of Administrative Regulations" for Virginia, now known as the Virginia Administrative Code (Chapter 669, 1993 Acts of Assembly).
- In the same year, the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission reviewed the Administrative Process Act and suggested limiting the use of emergency regulations and providing for greater public input into the development of agencies' public participation guidelines.
- In 1994, the Department of Planning and Budget (DPB) began conducting economic impact analyses of any proposed regulation promulgated under the Administrative Process Act, with the analysis to be published in the Virginia Register of Regulations. In addition, DPB developed the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall to streamline the executive review process.
- In 1996, the first print edition of the Virginia Administrative Code was published. The Virginia Administrative Code was also published online for the first time.
- In 1997, the General Assembly mandated the annual publication of agency guidance document lists in the Virginia Register of Regulations.
- In 1998, the Virginia Register of Regulations went online.
- In 2002, the General Assembly established the Joint Commission on Administrative Rules, a legislative commission, to review existing agency regulations and proposed regulations going through the Administrative Process Act.
- In 2003, a fast-track rulemaking process exempting agency regulation deemed by the Governor to be noncontroversial was established.