2017 Wisconsin Statutes & Annotations
Chapter 227. Administrative procedure and review.
227.11 Extent to which chapter confers rule-making authority.

Universal Citation: WI Stat § 227.11 (2017)

227.11 Extent to which chapter confers rule-making authority.

(1) Except as expressly provided, this chapter does not confer rule-making authority upon or augment the rule-making authority of any agency.

(2) Rule-making authority is expressly conferred on an agency as follows:

(a) Each agency may promulgate rules interpreting the provisions of any statute enforced or administered by the agency, if the agency considers it necessary to effectuate the purpose of the statute, but a rule is not valid if the rule exceeds the bounds of correct interpretation. All of the following apply to the promulgation of a rule interpreting the provisions of a statute enforced or administered by an agency:

1. A statutory or nonstatutory provision containing a statement or declaration of legislative intent, purpose, findings, or policy does not confer rule-making authority on the agency or augment the agency's rule-making authority beyond the rule-making authority that is explicitly conferred on the agency by the legislature.

2. A statutory provision describing the agency's general powers or duties does not confer rule-making authority on the agency or augment the agency's rule-making authority beyond the rule-making authority that is explicitly conferred on the agency by the legislature.

3. A statutory provision containing a specific standard, requirement, or threshold does not confer on the agency the authority to promulgate, enforce, or administer a rule that contains a standard, requirement, or threshold that is more restrictive than the standard, requirement, or threshold contained in the statutory provision.

(b) Each agency may prescribe forms and procedures in connection with any statute enforced or administered by it, if the agency considers it necessary to effectuate the purpose of the statute, but this paragraph does not authorize the imposition of a substantive requirement in connection with a form or procedure.

(c) Each agency authorized to exercise discretion in deciding individual cases may formalize the general policies evolving from its decisions by promulgating the policies as rules which the agency shall follow until they are amended or repealed. A rule promulgated in accordance with this paragraph is valid only to the extent that the agency has discretion to base an individual decision on the policy expressed in the rule.

(d) An agency may promulgate rules implementing or interpreting a statute that it will enforce or administer after publication of the statute but prior to the statute's effective date. A rule promulgated under this paragraph may not take effect prior to the effective date of the statute that it implements or interprets.

(e) An agency may not inform a member of the public in writing that a rule is or will be in effect unless the rule has been filed under s. 227.20 or unless the member of the public requests that information.

History: 1985 a. 182; 1991 a. 209; 2011 a. 21; 2013 a. 125, 136, 210, 277, 278, 295, 320, 332, 361, 363.

Under ss. 227.10 (2m) and 227.11 (2) (a), created by 2011 Wis. Act 21, an agency must have explicit authority to impose license and permit conditions and must have explicit authority for rulemaking. Act 21 makes clear that permit conditions and rulemaking may no longer be premised on implied agency authority. OAG 1-16

Sub. (2) (a) clearly disallows rulemaking based on broad statements of policy or duty. Although sub. (2) (a) only speaks to rulemaking, it follows that an agency is prohibited from conditioning a permit based on broad statements of policy or duty. OAG 1-16.

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