State Rulemaking - Administrative Procedure Act

In response to a decades-long concern about regulatory activity, the federal government and many other states have adopted administrative procedure acts. The intent has been to improve public access to agency decision-making and to increase awareness of agency rules.

The Maine Administrative Procedure Act (A.P.A.) may be found in statute at 5 MRSA sec. 8001 through 11116 -- see Chapters 375, 377, and 377-A. The core legislation was enacted at the First Session of the 108th Legislature, with some amendments since. It applies uniform requirements to state agencies with rulemaking power, and sets minimum standards for agencies to follow in adopting and implementing rules.

The Maine Administrative Procedure Act has also been affected by Executive Order 20 11/12.

Very generally, the A.P.A. establishes a uniform, comprehensive set of procedures covering:

  • The administrative actions of state agencies, including rulemaking, advisory rulings, adjudicatory proceedings, and licensing; and
  • Judicial review of those actions.

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