About the Joint Administrative Procedures Committee

The Joint Administrative Procedures Committee (JAPC) is a joint standing committee of the Legislature created by Rule 4.1 of the Joint Rules of the Florida Legislature. It is composed of five Senators appointed by the President of the Senate and seven Representatives appointed by the Speaker of the House. The primary function of JAPC is to generally review agency action pursuant to the operation of the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 120, Florida Statutes), particularly as these actions relate to the rulemaking process. It is JAPC’s responsibility to ensure that rules adopted by the executive branch agencies do not create new law, but rather stay within the authority specifically delegated by the legislature.
Joint Rule 4.6 charges JAPC with maintaining a continuous review of agency rules and the statutory authority upon which they are based. JAPC reviews proposed rules and may review existing rules to determine whether they are within delegated legislative authority and notifies the agency if its authority is eliminated or significantly changed by repeal, amendment or holding of a court of last resort. Following each session of the Legislature, JAPC reviews each law signed by the Governor or allowed to become law without his signature and determines whether the law will have a probable effect on an agency's rules. JAPC also constantly monitors judicial decisions in administrative law and advises the agency when either its statutory rulemaking authority or its rules are affected by these decisions.
Section 120.545, F.S., provides additional authority for the review of rules and sets out the procedures in the event of a JAPC objection to a rule. If the reviewing attorneys have concerns that a proposed or existing rule may not be authorized or exceeds the delegated rulemaking authority, the agency is contacted. Often, the agency agrees that there is no authority for the rule and withdraws or amends the rule to meet the staff concerns. If there is disagreement about whether or not there is authority for the rule, the rule is scheduled for consideration by the full committee in a public forum. The agency may appear before the committee and present argument and evidence in support of its rule. If, after hearing the agency's argument, the committee does not find statutory authority for the rule, an objection is voted and the agency has a statutory period in which to respond. If the agency refuses to modify or withdraw a rule to which the committee has objected, public notice of the objection is given and a notation accompanies the rule when it appears in the Florida Administrative Code.
The Joint Administrative Procedures Committee welcomes comment or inquiry from any person who believes that a rule may exceed delegated legislative authority.