Hawaii Administrative Rule Process

The procedure for adopting new administrative rules or amending existing administrative rules is governed by Chapter 91, Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS).  The process detailed on this page only applies to DOBOR rules; the process for other Departments may differ.  This page is provided for informational purposes only.

Pre-Public Hearing Phase
DOBOR conducts informal outreach for a new rule or a rule it wishes to amend.  The types of informal outreach used include working groups, stakeholder meetings, and requesting informal comment from any interested persons.  DOBOR uses the AlertMedia notification system to reach as many stakeholders as possible through email, text messages, and calls.

DOBOR drafts a proposed rule (or amendment) in Ramseyer format using the informal comments it receives, which is reviewed by the Department of the Attorney General for legal issues.  DOBOR then brings the proposal to the Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) for approval to hold public hearings.  DOBOR also brings the proposal to the Small Business Regulatory Review Board (SBRRB) for public hearing approval if there are small business impacts.

Public Hearing Phase
Public hearings are held to allow all interested persons the opportunity to provide testimony on the proposal.  Public hearings follow the process in Section 91-3, HRS, and are held in-person on the island(s) where the rules would have an impact.  Alternatively, DOBOR may also hold public hearings by Zoom Webinar.

Post-Public Hearing Phase
Based on public hearing testimony, the proposal may be revised, if necessary.  DOBOR then brings the proposal to BLNR for post-public hearing approval and adoption.  DOBOR also brings the proposal to SBRRB for post-public hearing review and approval if there are small business impacts.

The Governor makes the final decision to approve or deny the proposal.  If approved by the Governor, the rule is filed with the Office of the Lieutenant Governor and will have the force and effect of law ten (10) days after it is filed.



This page was last updated on 8/11/21.