California Resources

This State Guide provides an in-depth look at sources of law within the state of California.

California's Office of Administrative Law

The California Office of Administrative Law oversees the regulatory process by "ensur[ing] that state agency regulations are authorized by statute and are consistent with other law." The Office of Administrative Law publishes regular and emergency rulemaking processes as well as a document entitled "A Guide to Public Participation in the Regulatory Process" that provides citizens with information on the processes and procedures involved in rulemaking. The director and deputy director of the Office of Administrative Law are appointed by the Governor subject to state Senate confirmation. The California Government Code § 11340-11342.4 establishes the creation of the Office of Administrative Law and sets forth its organization, duties and responsibilities.

The Office of Administrative Law (OAL) was created to review adopted agency regulations for compliance with standards set forth in California's Administrative Procedure Act. The legislative intent behind the creation of OAL was not to have the office [or the court] "substitute its judgment for that of the rulemaking agency as expressed in the substantive content of adopted regulations." Cal. Gov't Code § 11340.1.

The office issues Disapproval Decisions, which details the specific grounds for disapproving agency proposed rule changes, Determinations which are advisory opinions that interprets whether or not an agency rule is a regulation and subject to the Administrative Procedure Ac, and Underground Regulation Determinations. Underground Regulation is described as when "a state agency issues, utilizes, enforces, or attempts to enforce a rule without following the APA when it is required to."