S-3412.1          _______________________________________________


                                 SENATE BILL 6289



State of Washington              52nd Legislature             1992 Regular Session


By Senators Bauer, Sellar, Gaspard, Newhouse, Sutherland, Snyder, Owen, Madsen, McMullen, Vognild and Rasmussen


Read first time 01/23/92.  Referred to Committee on Governmental Operations.Requiring agencies to accept fax and phone comments at rule-making hearings.

     AN ACT Relating to electronic transmission of comments to administrative rule-making hearings; and amending RCW 34.05.325.




     Sec. 1.  RCW 34.05.325 and 1988 c 288 s 304 are each amended to read as follows:

     (1) The agency shall make a good faith effort to insure that the information on the proposed rule published pursuant to RCW 34.05.320 accurately reflects the rule to be presented and considered at the oral hearing on the rule.  Written comment about a proposed rule, including supporting data, shall be accepted by an agency if received no later than the time and date specified in the notice, or such later time and date established at the rule-making hearing.

     (2) The agency shall provide an opportunity for oral comment to be received by the agency in a rule-making hearing.  If reasonably possible, the agency shall accept comments by telefacsimile transmission or recorded telephonic communication if that equipment is available to the agency.  The agency shall include the respective telephone numbers in the notice of the hearing filed under RCW 34.05.320.

     (3) The agency head, a member of the agency head, or a presiding officer designated by the agency head shall preside at the rule-making hearing.  Rule-making hearings shall be open to the public.  The agency shall cause a record to be made of the hearing by stenographic, mechanical, or electronic means.  Unless the agency head presides or is present at substantially all the hearings, the presiding official shall prepare a memorandum for consideration by the agency head, summarizing the contents of the presentations made at the rule-making hearing.  The summarizing memorandum is a public document and shall be made available to any person in accordance with chapter 42.17 RCW.

     (4) Rule-making hearings are legislative in character and shall be reasonably conducted by the presiding official to afford interested persons the opportunity to present comment.  Rule-making hearings may be continued to a later time and place established on the record without publication of further notice under RCW 34.05.320.