For those who have found the rule-making process used by Colorado’s agencies difficult to follow or participate in, state lawmakers apparently share the sentiment. Recently, the Colorado Legislature passed House Bill 21-1230, with the intent to create an internet portal for submission of public comments during state agency rule-making. The purpose of this bill is to encourage public participation in rule-making by improving accessibility without the need to rely upon the assistance of lawyers, lobbyists and technical experts. The legislative goal is to enable access by members of the public and stakeholders to participate in the creation of agency rules that impact individuals and their businesses. Thus, lawmakers passed this bill to streamline existing web platforms via the creation of a single, public-facing search interface for accessing agency rules and state rulemaking.
The search interface will be highly visible on the State’s main website and easy to locate on the internet, i.e., by a “Google” search. The webpage will also include a public comment search that will direct users to the open comment process on the relevant agencies’ websites when available. There will also be a calendar, to which someone can subscribe, with dates of all the Agencies’ rule-making hearings. This will allow the public to receive automated reminders and updates for agency rulemaking hearing dates.
The search interface promises to be up and ready for use by June 30, 2022, barring any unforeseen technological issues that might occur. The Colorado Office of Information Technology is responsible for the creation of this webpage and it has permission to seek, accept and expend gifts, grants or donations from private or public sources to help create the search interface. By summer of 2022, it should be much easier for the public to actively participate in rulemaking and follow agencies’ processes in regard to the creation of rules.
If you have any questions about this update, please contact Stephanie Montague. A special thanks to Summer Associate Rachel Medaugh for assisting with this legal update.