Rulemaking Process

How the Office of the State Treasurer administrative rules are created, modified, or repealed in the Washington Administrative Code

Overview of Administrative Rules

Rules are regulations, standards, or other statements of general applicability adopted by the agency to either:

  1. Implement, interpret, or make specific a law enforced or administered by an agency, or
  2. Prescribe or interpret an agency policy, procedures, or practice requirement binding on persons outside the agency.

Rules are valid and binding on the persons they affect, and have the force of law unless amended, revised, or a court of competent jurisdiction determines otherwise.

Rulemaking is the process Washington state agencies must use to create, modify, or repeal rules in the Washington Administrative Code (WAC). For a new rule to become law, agencies must follow the steps described in the Administrative Procedure Act, Chapter 34.05 RCW.

To ensure transparency and provide opportunities for the public to participate in the rulemaking process, the Administrative Procedures Act requires rulemaking notices to be filed with the Office of the Code Reviser (a Legislative branch agency) and published in the Washington State Register (WSR). The WSR is published twice each month. OST will also post its rulemaking notices on the Treasurer’s Office website.


Steps in the Rulemaking Process

Most rulemakings will follow this process:

  1. File preproposal statement of inquiry (CR-101). The CR-101 announces that the OST is planning to write or revise rules on a particular subject and invites the public to take part in the rulemaking process.
  2. Draft the rule. A team of subject matter experts drafts the proposed rule or amendment, considering input from stakeholders and other interested parties who respond during the preproposal notice period. This process can take several months if necessary.
  3. File proposed rulemaking notice (CR-102). The CR-102 provides the proposed rule language and opens the formal public comment period. It includes the process for submitting written comments and the date, time, and location for a public hearing to discuss the proposed rule.
  4. Accept public comments. OST encourages public participation in its rulemaking process. During the public comment period, we welcome input in writing or at the public hearing. Prior to final adoption, all comments will be summarized in a Concise Explanatory Statement (CES), with OST’s response. The CES will also describe any differences between the proposed rule and the adopted rule.
  5. File a rulemaking order to adopt the rule (CR-103). When the final rule is adopted by the State Treasurer (or the Treasurer’s designee), OST will file a CR-103 with the Code Reviser. Most rules are effective 31 days after being filed.  

However, there are other possible rulemaking actions that may proceed differently, including:

  • Emergency rules. Critical rule changes requiring immediate action do not require public notice or hearings. Emergency rules may be effective immediately and remain in effect for up to 120 days. They may be extended in certain circumstances, but emergency rules cannot become permanent until the public has had an opportunity to participate in the rulemaking process through the regular rulemaking steps outlined above.
  • Expedited rulemaking. In limited circumstances, OST may adopt, amend, or repeal a rule without a public hearing or comment process pursuant to RCW 34.05.353. This process is primarily used to correct typographical errors, update or correct cross-references to other rules or the law, or to incorporate changes in federal law/regulations or state statutes. OST will file its intent to use the expedited rulemaking process with the Office of the Code Reviser, and the notice will be published in the Washington State Register. If anyone objects to the expedited process within 45 days after the WSR is published, OST will proceed using the regular rulemaking process outlined above. If no objections are received during the 45-day public notice period, OST may adopt the rule by filing a CR-103 with the Office of the Code Reviser.


How to Participate in the Rulemaking Process

The public can participate in the rulemaking process by:

  • Submitting comments during the rulemaking process, either in writing or at the public hearing that will be held to discuss the proposed rulemaking action

Please note, all comments will be included in the official rulemaking file and will be deemed to be public records. Comments and supporting materials may be published without change, including any business or personal information such as a name, address, e-mail address, or phone number. Do not include any information in your comments or supporting materials that you consider confidential or inappropriate for public disclosure. Sensitive personal information MUST NOT be included.

All comments submitted as part of a rulemaking process, together with OST’s response, will be summarized in a Concise Explanatory Statement (CES) for the Treasurer’s (or designee’s) review prior to signing the rule adoption order. The CES will become part of the official rulemaking file and will be published on OST’s website.


Rulemaking Comments

OST will accept comments at any time during the rulemaking process.

To submit written comments or file a petition for adoption, amendment, or repeal of a rule please email:


Director, Legal Affairs