A rule: 1) is a regulation, standard, statement of policy, or general order; 2) is of general application; 3) has the effect of law; 4) is issued by an agency; 5) is to implement, interpret, or make specific legislation administered by the agency. The terms "rule" and "order" are mutually exclusive. Wis. Elec. Power Co. v. DNR, 93 Wis. 2d 222
, 287 N.W.2d 113
(1980). See also Cholvin v. Department of Health and Family Services, 2008 WI App 127
, 313 Wis. 2d 749
, 758 N.W.2d 118
Principles of statutory construction apply to the construction of rules. Law Enforcement Standards Board v. Lyndon Station, 101 Wis. 2d 472
, 305 N.W.2d 89
School boards are not "boards" under sub. (1). Racine Unified School District v. Thompson, 107 Wis. 2d 657
, 321 N.W.2d 334
(Ct. App. 1982).
When a fundamental and well-defined public policy is evidenced by a rule, a discharge from employment for refusal to violate that rule is actionable. Winkelman v. Beloit Memorial Hospital, 168 Wis. 2d 12
, 483 N.W.2d 211
The definition of "rule" under sub. (13) is applied. Plumbing Apprenticeship Committee v. DILHR, 172 Wis. 2d 299
, 493 N.W.2d 744
(Ct. App. 1992).
Materials developed by an agency as a reference aid for its staff that are couched in terms of advice and guidelines rather than setting forth law-like pronouncements are not a rule within the meaning of sub. (13) because they are not intended to have the effect of law. Chenequa Land Conservancy, Inc. v. Village of Hartland, 2004 WI App 144
, 275 Wis. 2d 533
, 685 N.W.2d 573
If an administrative rule is properly adopted and is within the power of the legislature to delegate, there is no material difference between it and a law. 63 Atty. Gen. 159.
Agencies are subject to rule-making procedures in making discretionary choices even if those choices are based on opinions of the attorney general. Rule-making procedures do not apply if the opinion describes what a law mandates. 68 Atty. Gen. 363.
Compliance with other statutes.
Compliance with this chapter does not eliminate the necessity of complying with a procedure required by another statute.
History: 1985 a. 182
Chapter 227 contemplates the limited use of civil procedure statutes that do not conflict with ch. 227. Wagner v. State Medical Examining Board, 181 Wis. 2d 633
, 511 N.W.2d 874
Application of this chapter. 227.03(3)
Any provision of s. 227.42
that is inconsistent with a requirement of title 45 of the code of federal regulations does not apply to hearings held under ch. 49
This chapter does not apply to proceedings before the department of workforce development relating to housing discrimination under s. 106.50
, except as provided in s. 106.50 (6)
Only the provisions of this chapter relating to rules are applicable to matters arising out of protection against discrimination in a public place of accommodation or amusement under s. 106.52
The provisions of this chapter relating to contested cases do not apply to proceedings involving the revocation of aftercare supervision under s. 48.366 (5)
or 938.357 (5)
, the revocation of parole, extended supervision or probation, the grant of probation, prison discipline, mandatory release under s. 302.11
or any other proceeding involving the care and treatment of a resident or an inmate of a correctional institution.
(4m) Subchapter III
does not apply to any decision of an agency to suspend or restrict or not issue or renew a license if the agency suspends or restricts or does not issue or renew the license pursuant to a memorandum of understanding entered into under s. 49.857
Orders of the government accountability board under s. 5.06 (6)
are not subject to this chapter.
Except as provided in s. 230.44 (4) (bm)
, this chapter does not apply to proceedings before the employment relations commission in matters that are arbitrated in accordance with s. 230.44 (4) (bm)
This chapter does not apply to determinations made by the secretary of administration or the secretary of revenue under s. 229.50 (1)
Considerations for small business. 227.04(2)
Consistent with the requirements under s. 895.59
and, to the extent possible, each agency shall do all of the following:
Provide assistance to small businesses to help small businesses comply with rules promulgated by the agency.
Establish, by rule, reduced fines and alternative enforcement mechanisms for minor violations of administrative rules made by small businesses. The rules promulgated under this paragraph shall include a definition of "minor violation."
In deciding whether to impose a fine against a small business found to be in violation of a rule, consider the appropriateness of a written warning, reduced fine, or alternative penalty if all of the following apply:
The small business has made a good faith effort to comply with the rule.
The rule violation does not pose a threat to public health, safety, or welfare.
Establish methods to encourage the participation of small businesses in rule making under s. 227.114 (4)
History: 2011 a. 46
Statements of policy and interpretations of law; discrimination prohibited. 227.10(1)
Each agency shall promulgate as a rule each statement of general policy and each interpretation of a statute which it specifically adopts to govern its enforcement or administration of that statute. A statement of policy or an interpretation of a statute made in the decision of a contested case, in a private letter ruling under s. 73.035
or in an agency decision upon or disposition of a particular matter as applied to a specific set of facts does not render it a rule or constitute specific adoption of a rule and is not required to be promulgated as a rule.
No agency may promulgate a rule which conflicts with state law.
No agency may implement or enforce any standard, requirement, or threshold, including as a term or condition of any license issued by the agency, unless that standard, requirement, or threshold is explicitly required or explicitly permitted by statute or by a rule that has been promulgated in accordance with this subchapter. The governor, by executive order, may prescribe guidelines to ensure that rules are promulgated in compliance with this subchapter.
No rule, either by its terms or in its application, may discriminate for or against any person by reason of sex, race, creed, color, sexual orientation, national origin or ancestry.
A rule may discriminate for or against a person by reason of physical condition or developmental disability as defined in s. 51.01 (5)
only if it is strictly necessary to a function of the agency and is supported by data demonstrating that necessity.
Each person affected by a rule is entitled to the same benefits and is subject to the same obligations as any other person under the same or similar circumstances.
Nothing in this subsection prohibits the administrator of the division of merit recruitment and selection in the office of state employment relations from promulgating rules relating to expanded certification under s. 230.25 (1n)
An agency's revised interpretation of a statute constituted administrative rule-making under s. 227.01 (4) [now s. 227.10] and declaratory relief under s. 227.40 was accordingly proper. What constitutes a rule is discussed. Schoolway Transportation Co. v. Division of Motor Vehicles, 72 Wis. 2d 223
, 240 N.W.2d 403
The legislature may constitutionally prescribe a criminal penalty for the violation of an administrative rule. State v. Courtney, 74 Wis. 2d 705
, 247 N.W.2d 714
A memorandum announcing general policies and specific criteria governing all decisions on good time for mandatory release parole violations was a "rule" and should have been promulgated properly. State ex rel. Clifton v. Young, 133 Wis. 2d 193
, 394 N.W.2d 769
(Ct. App. 1986).
An administrative agency cannot regulate the activities of another agency or promulgate rules to bind another agency without express statutory authority. George v. Schwarz, 2001 WI App 72
, 242 Wis. 2d 450
, 626 N.W.2d 57
Extent to which chapter confers rule-making authority. 227.11(1)(1)
Except as expressly provided, this chapter does not confer rule-making authority upon or augment the rule-making authority of any agency.
Rule-making authority is expressly conferred as follows:
Each agency may promulgate rules interpreting the provisions of any statute enforced or administered by the agency, if the agency considers it necessary to effectuate the purpose of the statute, but a rule is not valid if the rule exceeds the bounds of correct interpretation. All of the following apply to the promulgation of a rule interpreting the provisions of a statute enforced or administered by an agency:
A statutory or nonstatutory provision containing a statement or declaration of legislative intent, purpose, findings, or policy does not confer rule-making authority on the agency or augment the agency's rule-making authority beyond the rule-making authority that is explicitly conferred on the agency by the legislature.
A statutory provision describing the agency's general powers or duties does not confer rule-making authority on the agency or augment the agency's rule-making authority beyond the rule-making authority that is explicitly conferred on the agency by the legislature.
A statutory provision containing a specific standard, requirement, or threshold does not confer on the agency the authority to promulgate, enforce, or administer a rule that contains a standard, requirement, or threshold that is more restrictive than the standard, requirement, or threshold contained in the statutory provision.
Each agency may prescribe forms and procedures in connection with any statute enforced or administered by it, if the agency considers it necessary to effectuate the purpose of the statute, but this paragraph does not authorize the imposition of a substantive requirement in connection with a form or procedure.
Each agency authorized to exercise discretion in deciding individual cases may formalize the general policies evolving from its decisions by promulgating the policies as rules which the agency shall follow until they are amended or repealed. A rule promulgated in accordance with this paragraph is valid only to the extent that the agency has discretion to base an individual decision on the policy expressed in the rule.
An agency may promulgate rules implementing or interpreting a statute that it will enforce or administer after publication of the statute but prior to the statute's effective date. A rule promulgated under this paragraph may not take effect prior to the effective date of the statute that it implements or interprets.
An agency may not inform a member of the public in writing that a rule is or will be in effect unless the rule has been filed under s. 227.20
or unless the member of the public requests that information.
The Designer Section of the Examining Board of Architects, Professional Engineers, Designers and Land Surveyors does not have rulemaking authority. 74 Atty. Gen. 200
Incorporation of local, comprehensive planning goals.
Each agency, where applicable and consistent with the laws that it administers, is encouraged to design the rules promulgated by the agency to reflect a balance between the mission of the agency and the goals specified in s. 1.13 (2)
History: 1999 a. 9
Rule making; considerations for small business. 227.114(1)(1)
In this section, "small business" means a business entity, including its affiliates, which is independently owned and operated and not dominant in its field, and which employs 25 or fewer full-time employees or which has gross annual sales of less than $5,000,000.
When an agency proposes or revises a rule that may have an effect on small businesses, the agency shall consider each of the following methods for reducing the impact of the rule on small businesses:
The establishment of less stringent compliance or reporting requirements for small businesses.
The establishment of less stringent schedules or deadlines for compliance or reporting requirements for small businesses.
The consolidation or simplification of compliance or reporting requirements for small businesses.
The establishment of performance standards for small businesses to replace design or operational standards required in the rule.
The exemption of small businesses from any or all requirements of the rule.
The agency shall incorporate into the proposed rule any of the methods specified under sub. (2)
which it finds to be feasible, unless doing so would be contrary to the statutory objectives which are the basis for the proposed rule.
In addition to the requirements under s. 227.17
, the agency shall provide an opportunity for small businesses to participate in the rule-making process, using one or more of the following methods:
The inclusion in the notice under s. 227.17
of a statement that the rule may have an impact on small businesses.
The direct notification of any small business that may be affected by the rule.
The conduct of public hearings concerning the impact of the rule on small businesses.
The use of special hearing procedures to reduce the cost or complexity of participation in the rule-making process by small businesses.
When an agency, under s. 227.20 (1)
, files with the legislative reference bureau a rule that is subject to this section, the agency shall include with the rule a summary of the analysis prepared under s. 227.19 (3) (e)
and a summary of the comments of the legislative standing committees, if any. If, under s. 227.19 (3m)
, the rule does not require the analysis under s. 227.19 (3) (e)
, the agency shall include with the rule a statement of the reason for the small business regulatory review board's determination that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small businesses. The legislative reference bureau shall publish the summaries or the statement in the register with the rule.
A small business may commence an action against an agency for injunctive relief to prevent the imposition of a penalty if the small business is subject to the penalty as the result of any of the following:
The small business acted or failed to act due to the failure by the agency's employee, officer, or agent with regulatory responsibility for that legal requirement to respond to a specific question in a reasonable time.
The small business acted or failed to act in response to inaccurate advice given to the small business by the agency's employee, officer, or agent with regulatory responsibility for that legal requirement.
The small business may commence the action in the circuit court for the county where the property affected is located or, if no property is affected, in the circuit court for the county where the dispute arose.