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Colorado Administrative Law Research

This guide provides an overview of the Colorado executive branch and the law it produces through its regulations, agency decisions, and attorney general opinions.

Colorado Regulatory Publications

An agency can issue rules and regulations only if the legislative branch has granted such authority.  The statute or enabling legislation grants the agency the authority to promulgate rules and regulations in order to implement specific legislative policy.

All regulations must be issued in accordance with the State Administrative Procedure Act (C.R.S. § 24-4-101, et seq.), which has three requirements for promulgation:

  1. Notify the public when an agency plans to promulgate new regulations or change existing ones
  2. Publish proposed regulations and solicit public comment
  3. Publish final regulations before they go into effect

The Colorado Secretary of State illustrates the rulemaking process as indicated below:

Colorado rules and regulations are issued by state agencies, but only if the legislature has granted the agency the statutory authority to do so (referred to as the enabling legislation or enabling authority). Please see the Colorado Executive Branch guide for more information on the state agencies and how rules are promulgated. To find rules, see the guide to Locating Colorado Regulations

The promulgated rules are published in the Colorado Register and the Code of Colorado Regulations

Colorado Register

In addition to the final version of the rules, the CR contains proposed regulations, meeting notices and AG regulatory opinions. The CR is organized chronologically and is published twice a month (on the 10th and 25th). Since July 2007, the official version of the Colorado Register is the online version available from the Colorado Secretary of State's website, but it is also available in the library in print.

Free E-Mail Notification Service
Free subscription email notification service to alert researchers when a new issue of the CR is published.

Code of Colorado Regulations

The Code of Colorado Regulations contains the final version of promulgated regulations as well as the history of each rule. Unlike the Colorado Register, the CCR is organized topically by agency. However, like the Colorado Register, the official version of the Code of Colorado Regulations is the online version available from the Colorado Secretary of State's website. The CCR is also available in print in the library, both the current and superseded versions of the rules.

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