Rulemaking Process and Reports

Have you ever wondered how the Arizona Game and Fish Commission makes the rules for hunters, anglers, and other customers? In addition to making sure that Game and Fish rules are concise and easy to understand, the Department’s Rules and Risk Section is responsible for ensuring that all rules meet statutory requirements before submitting them the Secretary of State (SOS), Attorney General, or Governor’s Regulatory Review Council (GRRC), as applicable.

rulemaking process

The Department’s current Rulemaking activity is provided to give the public the opportunity to review proposed rulemakings that are open for public comment and final rulemakings that have been filed with the Governor’s Regulatory Review Council for placement on a future Council agenda:

rulemakings in progress

At their June 4, 2024 meeting, the Governor’s Regulatory Review Council (Council) approved the Arizona Game and Fish Commission’s Notice of Final Rulemaking amending rules within Articles 1, 2, 3, and 6. The rulemaking implements Commission-approved recommendations resulting from the 2022 Article 3 Five-year Review Report. The amended rules become effective August 10, 2024.

A copy of the final amended rules may be accessed using the following link: Articles 1, 2, 3, and 6 Rules – Effective August 10, 2024.

If you have questions or comments regarding Commission rules, complete the AZGFD Rulemaking Contact Form

rulemaking process details

Notice of Rulemaking Docket Opening: SOS publishes the Commission’s Notice in the Arizona Administrative Register (AAR) to notify the public that the Commission is considering amending its rules.

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: SOS publishes the Commission’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Arizona Administrative Register (AAR) to provide the public with actual proposed additions, deletions, or changes to the Commission’s rules.

Comment periods: The public has three opportunities in which to submit comments to the Commission: 1). Any time. Comments received by the Department are placed in the rule record and will be considered by the next review or Rulemaking team. 2). During the thirty (30) day public comment period immediately following the publication of the proposed rules in the AAR. Once a proposed rule is published, the public has at least thirty (30) days to submit comments to the Department concerning the rule. 3). At a Commission Meeting. A blue ‘speaker slip’ is required and are available to the public at each Commission Meeting.

Note: Comments are statements, suggested rule language, data, views, or other observations submitted to the Department in regards to an existing or proposed rule. Comments submitted during the official 30-day public comment period for a particular rulemaking will become part of the official record for that proposed rulemaking.

Notice of Final Rulemaking: The Department drafts a Notice of Final Rulemaking after considering comments and other information received during the comment period. The Department must determine whether the suggestions received meet the Department’s mission and objectives, do not place an undue burden on the regulated community, are not discriminatory, and are permitted under statute.

Submittal to Governor’s Regulatory Review Council: The Department submits the final rulemaking to GRRC. GRRC reviews the rulemaking to ensure that the rules are necessary, consistent with legislative intent, within the agency’s statutory authority, do not create an adverse impact on the public, and whether the benefits of the rule outweigh the costs.

Approval by GRRC: When GRRC determines that the rulemaking meets the statutory criteria identified above, GRRC will approve and file the final rulemaking with SOS.

Effective date: Typically, the effective date of the rule is sixty (60) days from the date of filing. However, the Commission may request an immediate or specific effective date when authorized by statute, specified in the rulemaking preamble, and approved by GRRC.

Codification: SOS publishes final rulemakings in the Arizona Administrative Code (Code). The Code is the official compilation of rules that govern state agencies, boards, and commissions; the paper copy of the Code serves as the official version. SOS is required to publish updates to the Code four times a year. As a result, the Code may not contain the most recent Game and Fish rules. The Rule Changes page provides Commission rules approved by GRRC, but not yet included in the Code.

The above rulemaking description is not comprehensive. It is meant only to provide a brief overview of the rulemaking process and is not binding on the Commission or Department.

Five-year Reports

Under A.R.S. § 41-1056, every agency shall review its rules at least once every five years to determine whether any rule should be amended or repealed. Each agency shall prepare a report summarizing its findings, its supporting reasons, and any proposed course of action; and obtain approval of the report from the Governor’s Regulatory Review Council (G.R.R.C.).

Five-year review reports

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