Virginia Regulatory Town Hall

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How do I add a stage to an existing regulatory action?

Note: Before you file a new stage on the Town Hall, your previous stage must have completed executive branch review (unless it is exempt), and been submitted to the Registrar for publication (via the Town Hall).

Step 1:  You can add a stage to an existing regulatory action by clicking on the "My Current Actions" link under agency functions on the blue menu bar to the left of the screen. This will take you to the Current Actions page listing all of your agency’s actions currently underway.

Step 2:  Click on the "Action" link of the action for which you wish to add a stage. This will take you to the Action Information page.

Step 3:  Click on the Stages tab. Use the "drop-down" box to select the stage you wish to enter. Depending on which stage you choose, you will be taken to the screen for entering the data needed for submitting that stage.

Executive branch review

Office of the Attorney General (OAG)

The OAG must prepare a letter of assurance (stating that the promulgating entity has statutory authority) for the following stages: proposed, fast-track and emergency. The OAG has no legally imposed time frame within which to complete its review.

Department of Planning and Budget (DPB)

A policy analysis is completed at every stage of non-exempt regulatory actions. Policy analyses are required pursuant to Executive Order 17 (2014). Once a regulatory package is submitted to DPB on the Town Hall, DPB has 14 days to complete its analysis for emergency and NOIRA stages, 45 days for a proposed stage, 30 days for a fast-track stage, and 14 days for a final stage.

An economic impact analysis (EIA) is completed at the proposed stage of non-exempt regulatory actions, as well for fast-track regulations. EIAs are required pursuant to § 2.2 4007.04 of the Code of Virginia. Once a proposed stage regulatory package is submitted to DPB on the Town Hall, DPB has 45 days to complete an economic impact analysis. Once a fast-track stage regulatory package is submitted to DPB on the Town Hall, DPB has 30 days to complete an economic impact analysis.

It is DPB’s practice to make an agency aware of, and try to resolve during a stage, any issues that DPB has identified regarding a regulation. Sometimes it is not possible to resolve these problems within the period allotted to DPB to complete its review, e.g., the agency agrees a change is appropriate but needs time to revise the proposed text of the regulation and/or the proposed text may not be changed without formal approval by the board. In these cases, it is common for an agency to retract the stage or action from the Town Hall in order to fix any problems, and then to resubmit the stage or action at a later date.

Cabinet Secretary

For non-exempt regulatory stages, a Cabinet Secretary shall review and forward a recommendation to the Governor within seven days for a NOIRA, 14 days for a proposed regulation package, and seven days for a final regulation package.


The Governor’s office has no legally imposed time frame within which to complete its review of non-exempt regulatory stages.

What if changes with "substantial impact" have been made between the proposed and final stages

If one or more changes with substantial impact are made to a proposed regulation from the time that it is published as a proposed regulation to the time it is published as a final regulation, any person may petition the agency within 30 days from the publication of the final regulation to request an opportunity for oral and written submittals on the changes to the regulation. If the agency receives requests from at least 25 persons for an opportunity to submit oral and written comments on the changes to the regulation, the agency shall (i) suspend the regulatory process for 30 days to solicit additional public comment and (ii) file notice of the additional 30-day public comment period with the Registrar of Regulations, unless the agency determines that the changes made are minor or inconsequential in their impact. The comment period, if any, shall begin on the date of publication of the notice in the Register. Agency denial of petitions for a comment period on changes to the regulation shall be subject to judicial review.