People v. Cole – “So What Happens Now?”

Yesterday was the last day for comments on the Commissioner's proposed rule to address the Court of Appeal's holding in People v. Cole, 156 Cal. App. 4th 452 (2007).  I've seen that several persons have submitted comments in addition to myself - all addressing the exception for employees in the proposed rule.

To reprise Evita Peron, so what happens now?  Under the California Administrative Procedure Act (APA), the Department will be required to summarize and respond to all timely comments that it receives.  If the Department decides to amend the rule, the proposed amendment will be published for further comment.  If no changes are proposed (or after the additional comment period(s)), the Department is required to prepare a Final Statement of Reasons, which includes the Department's summary and response to comments.  The Department then will send the entire rulemaking package to a separate state agency, the Office of Administrative Law (the OAL).  The OAL does not review the wisdom of the policy decisions of the Department but does review the rulemaking package for compliance with the APA.  Assuming the OAL approves the rulemaking package, it sends the rule to the Secretary of State for filing.  Usually regulations take effect in 30 days after filing with the Secretary of State.  See Government Code Section 11343.4.