§ 42-35-5. Public access to agency law and policy publication, compilation, indexing, and public inspection of rulemaking documents.
(a) The secretary of state may promulgate rules or guidance documents governing the filing, codification, and publication of the rules and other rulemaking documents of state agencies submitted to the secretary of state under this chapter. The secretary of state shall be the codifier of the rules of state agencies. The secretary of state may assign numbers to any rule in order to develop and maintain a comprehensive system of codification. The number shall be the official administrative code number of the rule. Any number so assigned shall be published in any publication of the Rhode Island administrative code. Rules of the Rhode Island administrative code shall be cited and referred to by their official numbers. The office of the secretary of state shall publish on its website, in a searchable format, the full text of all rules promulgated by agencies pursuant to this chapter.
(b) The secretary of state shall oversee the publication of an updated code of state regulations. The code of state regulations shall be compiled and published in a format and medium prescribed by the secretary of state. Upon completion of the updated code, it shall be made available on the secretary of state's website. The rules of an agency shall be published and indexed in the code of state regulations. Agencies must resubmit all existing rules with the secretary of state for publication into the code of state regulations by December 31, 2018. All rules shall be written in plain language. To promote the efficient development of a code of state regulations, the office of regulatory reform is authorized to coordinate and direct agencies in the effort to develop a regulatory code. The office of regulatory reform shall establish a phased approach which requires agencies to submit portions of regulatory content prior to December 31, 2018. Any rule that is not resubmitted by December 31, 2018, and is not published in the code of state regulations, shall not be enforceable until the rule appears in the code of state regulations. The secretary of state shall make the code of state regulations available for public inspection and, for a reasonable charge, copying.
(c) The secretary of state may display on its website the state register. The secretary of state shall provide the following to the publisher of the state register:
(1) Notices of proposed rulemaking prepared so that the text of the proposed rule shows the text of any existing rule proposed to be changed and the change proposed;
(2) Newly filed final rules prepared so that the text of a newly filed amended rule shows the text of the existing rule and the change that is made.
(d)(1) The secretary of state may approve as acceptable a commercial publication of the code which conforms to all of the provisions of this section. If the secretary of state does not approve of a commercial publication of the code, the secretary of state shall prepare and publish the code, or contract with any person under this section to prepare and publish the code. Any code published by the secretary of state, or by any person under a contract let under this section, shall include all of the requirements of this section. In addition, the secretary of state shall furnish any volume or issue of the code or supplement to any person who requests the material upon payment of a charge established by the secretary of state, not to exceed the cost of publication and handling.
(2) Upon the request of the secretary of state, the director of administration shall advertise and accept competitive bids and let a contract for the compilation and printing of the code of state regulations and supplements between the secretary of state and the person able to perform the contract at the lowest cost.
(G.L. 1956, § 42-35-5; P.L. 1962, ch. 112, § 1; P.L. 1986, ch. 281, § 5; P.L. 1989, ch. 238, § 1; P.L. 2001, ch. 61, § 1; P.L. 2016, ch. 203, § 2; P.L. 2016, ch. 206, § 2.)