The Pennsylvania Code is an official publication of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It contains regulations and other documents filed with the Legislative Reference Bureau under the act of July 31, 1968 (P. L. 769, No. 240) (45 P. S. §§ 1102, 1201—1208 and 1602) and 45 Pa.C.S. Chapters 5, 7 and 9, known as the Commonwealth Documents Law (CDL). It consists of 55 titles.

Use as Evidence. No administrative regulation or change therein is valid for any purpose until filed by the Legislative Reference Bureau as required by sections 207 and 208 of the act of July 31, 1968 (P. L. 769, No. 240) (45 P. S. §§ 1207 and 1208) and 45 Pa.C.S. § 722 (relating to deposit of documents required). No filed document required to be published in the Code (except a rule of court) is valid against any person who has not had actual knowledge thereof until the supplement to the Code containing such a document has been deposited in the United States mail for distribution, 45 Pa.C.S. § 903 (relating to effective date of documents).

Certain rebuttable presumptions are raised by the publication of a document in the Code, 45 Pa.C.S. § 905 (relating to presumptions created). The text of regulations and certain other documents published in the Code is declared to be the only valid and enforceable text of such documents, 45 Pa.C.S. § 901 (relating to official text of published documents). The text of home rule charter documents published in the Code is prima facie evidence of the text approved by the electors, 45 Pa.C.S. §§ 722 and 901 (relating to deposit of documents required; and official text of published documents). Courts are required to take judicial notice of the contents of the Code, 45 Pa.C.S. §§ 506 and 507 (relating to judicial notice; and form of citation).

Form. The Code is printed in loose-leaf form so that supplementary pages may be inserted in proper sequence into the Code, which may thus be kept up to date.

History. The Pennsylvania Code and the Pennsylvania Bulletin make the existing body of official documents having force of law (except, of course, statutes enacted by the General Assembly, which have been regularly printed since 1712) readily available to the public. The legislation authorizing their publication is the result of years of effort by many individuals and organizations and embodies the work of several sessions of the General Assembly.

Beginning in the late 1930’s the Joint State Government Commission, in conjunction with the Civil Procedural Rules Committee of the Supreme Court and the Pennsylvania Bar Association, undertook a comprehensive study of the then existing practice and procedure before the various Commonwealth administrative tribunals. By late 1942 appropriate bills had been drafted, which were then recommended to the General Assembly in January, 1943, by the Joint State Government Commission.

The Commission made the following recommendations (1943 Leg Jour. 4487):

    ‘‘1. An official medium, similar to the Federal Register, should be established within this Commonwealth for the publication of rules, regulations, etc., in force and those adopted from time to time.
    2. The Register shall be under the direction of the Director of the Legislative Reference Bureau who shall consult with administrative agencies as to the form and substance of intended rules and regulations.
    3. Notice of the intended adoption of new general rules and regulations affecting the rights and privileges of persons outside of the agency shall be given in the register and opportunity for public hearing had thereon. The existence of an emergency shall justify waiver of the above provision.
    4. The Joint State Government Commission which is composed of members of the General Assembly shall have the power after conference with the agency to nullify any rule or regulation in whole or in part if, in its opinion, there is a violation of the intent of an act of the General Assembly.
    5. Every person aggrieved by a rule or regulation shall have the right of appeal therefrom to a court of record, but no such rule or regulation shall be declared invalid unless it was improperly adopted or is in violation of the Federal or State Constitutions.’’

The Joint State Government Commission’s report noted that the Pennsylvania Bar Association did not concur in recommendation No. 4 relating to legislative veto of regulations.

The bills passed the Senate in 1943, but died in the House. However, the 1945 Session enacted both the ‘‘Administrative Agency Law’’ (P. L. 1388, No. 442) (71 P. S. §§ 1710.1—1710.51) (Repealed), and the ‘‘Pennsylvania Register Act’’ (P. L. 1392). As enacted, the bills incorporated only the first two recommendations of the Joint State Commission, omitting the latter three. Section 22 of the Administrative Agency Law provided in general that no regulation should be valid unless published in the Pennsylvania Register within 45 days after adoption.

The Legislative Reference Bureau proceeded to codify all regulations and despite the post-war paper shortage, published in June of 1946 a 1,167-page bound volume. In October and December 1946, and in February, 1947, (bound with the December issue), paperbacked supplements to this volume were issued. The first bound volume represented about one-half the project, and a volume containing the regulations of the Department of Labor and Industry and of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission was scheduled to complete the work.

Such a volume never appeared, however, because the whole project was terminated by the absolute repeal of the Pennsylvania Register Act by the act of July 3, 1947 (P. L. 1245, No. 509), effective September 1, 1947. Contemporary reports attribute this action to the opposition of state agencies and the physical impossibility of expediting the printing of the proposed second bound volume. As a substitute measure, the Administrative Agency Law was amended by the act of July 7, 1947 (P. L. 1367, No. 541) (71 P. S. § 1710.21) (repealed July 31, 1968) to provide that regulations would be of no effect unless printed and made available upon written request within 30 days after adoption. The General Assembly went further and referred the whole administrative procedure matter, including the question of codification of regulations, back to the Joint State Government Commission (House Resolution No. 40). On January 10, 1948 the Pennsylvania Bar Association adopted a resolution urging the Commission ‘‘to re-establish either the Pennsylvania Register or some other satisfactory medium for publication of regulations.’’

The Commission’s March 1949 report (1949 Leg. Jour. 6026) recommended that:

    ‘‘2. Regulations of each such administrative agency (1) be certified on behalf of the agency, (2) be approved as to legality by the Department of Justice, (3) be filed with the Department of State in the form and size prescribed by the Department of State and (4) copies be made available by the agency free of charge upon request.
    3. The Department of State (1) keep a permanent record of all regulations filed with it, (2) prepare and maintain an index of all such regulations to be available for inspection, and (3) furnish certified copies of any regulation upon payment of a proper charge.’’

The resulting bill (House Bill No. 879) as drawn exempted the Milk Control Board, the Public Utility Commission, and certain functions of the Banking and Insurance departments and required the Department of State to publish the index of regulations. The bill was vetoed on an unrelated point (appeals from the Board of Finance and Revenue (Veto No. 50)). The Commission’s recommendations ultimately were enacted as the act of September 28, 1951 (P. L. 1561, No. 400) (71 P. S. §§ 1710.2(e)—1710.51) (Repealed) but without the four exemptions of the 1949 bill, and with new provisions eliminating the 1947 requirement that all regulations be printed.

The 1951 act was a dead letter. A decade later the Pennsylvania Bar Association reported (65 P.B.A. Rep. 173) that no manuscript index existed in the Department of State, much less a published work; that the files were hopelessly out of date, with obsolete regulations mixed in with the current; and that formal demands upon agencies for a free copy of their regulations in some cases produced only suggestions that photocopies be purchased from the Department of State at 65 cents per page.

This condition resulted in renewed interest in the General Assembly. Accordingly, in the closing days of the 1962 Session the General Assembly under bipartisan sponsorship adopted House Resolution No. 47 (Printer’s No. 189):

    ‘‘Many rules and regulations issued by administrative agencies of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have the force of law in their effect on individuals and business as fully as the statute law.
    Since almost all administrative rule-making authority is legislative in nature and its exercise by administrative agencies is derived from the General Assembly, adequate review over the exercise of this authority is an important phase of the lawmaking function of the General Assembly: therefore be it
    Resolved (the Senate concurring), That each administrative department, board and commission (except the Public Utility Commission), is hereby directed to file within sixty (60) days with the Legislative Reference Bureau a copy of all rules and regulations issued by their respective agencies which are now in force, together with the citation of the statutory authority for the rule or regulation; and be it further
    Resolved, That the Legislative Reference Bureau, with such additional technical assistance as may be required, is hereby instructed to compile and codify by department, board and commission:
     (a) All formal rules and regulations issued and required by law to be filed with the Secretary of the Commonwealth;
     (b) All formal rules and regulations issued but not required by law to be filed with the Secretary of the Commonwealth;
     (c) All formal and informal rules, regulations and administrative rules issued under the authority of and pursuant to any statute; and be it further
   Resolved, That the Legislative Reference Bureau report to the General Assembly not later than the first day of its 1963 Session . . .’’

The documents were filed as required and the Legislative Reference Bureau prepared a manuscript Code, comprising 50 titles.

The next step was taken at the 1963 Session, which enacted the act of June 26, 1963 (P. L. 180, No. 107) (71 P. S. § 1710.21) (Repealed), amending the Administrative Agency Law to require all regulations (including those of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, which were excluded from House Resolution No. 47) adopted after September 1, 1963, to be approved by the Department of Justice as to legality, to be printed or reproduced by the adopting agency and made available for public distribution upon request, and to be filed with the Legislative Reference Bureau. The prior requirement of filing with the Department of State was continued.

This amendment ensured that the Legislative Reference Bureau’s manuscript code was kept up-to-date, but it failed to provide either for regulations issued during the hiatus between the February 27, 1962, effective date of House Resolution No. 47 and the September 1, 1963, effective date of Act No. 107, or for the fact that the Resolution had omitted the many important regulations of the Public Utility Commission.

On October 3, 1963, Governor Scranton implemented Act No. 107 by issuing Executive Directive No. 29, which prescribed a uniform format for all regulations.

While the manuscript code doubtless was quite useful to those in Harrisburg who took the trouble to seek out the Bureau’s copy, the Code could not fulfill its urgent functions until it had been published and incorporated into a system which ensures that the published text is both authoritative and up-to-date.

To accomplish this result the Section on Administrative Law of the Pennsylvania Bar Association drafted a proposal bill, the ‘‘Public Documents Law’’ and accompanying report (36 P.B.A. Quarterly 99). The bill and accompanying report were unanimously approved by the Association at its 1965 winter meeting. The report noted that the adoption of a system for the centralized publication of administrative regulations stems from a recognition of two elemental principles of government (36 P.B.A. Quarterly 101);

    ‘‘First. A valid and enforceable regulation is nothing less than a law. A regulation therefore, as any law, has two essential offices. It must deter undesirable conduct and encourage desirable conduct, and it must form a constitutional and effective basis for the punishment of those who violate its terms. However, it is obvious that a regulation which remains for all practical purposes lodged in the bosom of the agency which adopted it constitutes an unsteady foundation for the punishment of those who unknowingly violate it, and wholly fails to perform its principal function of shaping public conduct in a socially desirable direction.
    Second. Dollar-for-dollar, the sums spent for the publicity of an agency’s regulations and statements of policy are the most efficient dollars spent by the agency in the enforcement of its policies. Indeed in sharp contrast, the customary practice in this Commonwealth, whereby agency time and money is expended to detect violations of the agency’s privately circulated regulations, followed by the mailing to the violator of a copy of the regulation and a demand for compliance therewith, is as inefficient a use of public funds as it is unfair to the unwitting violator.’’

The bill, as H. B. 946 of the 1965 Session, passed the House of Representatives in a revised form by a vote of 205 to 0 on December 15, 1965, but was received in the Senate too late for action by that body. The bill, with slight variations, was introduced into both houses of the 1967-68 General Assembly and ultimately was enacted as the Commonwealth Documents Law, act of July 31, 1968 (P. L. 769, No. 240) (45 P. S. §§ 1101—1611).

The CDL was amended by the act of July 9, 1970 (P. L. 477, No. 162) (45 P. S. §§ 1102, 1205, 1206, 1302, 1405 and 1414) to expand its scope to include the publication of home rule charter documents; to authorize the Joint Committee on Documents to require agencies to give public notice of certain actions or proceedings; and to make certain minor changes in language.

Administration. The Joint Committee on Documents, a departmental administrative board in the Department of General Services created by 45 Pa.C.S. § 502 (relating to Joint Committee on Documents) consists of the Attorney General, the Director of the Legislative Reference Bureau, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Secretary of General Services and two public members appointed by the Governor from among attorneys at law or other members of the public who represent the class who may be expected to refer to the documents to be published under the act. The governmental members are authorized to designate alternates to serve for them. The General Counsel was added as a member of the Joint Committee on Documents by section 302 of the Commonwealth Attorneys Act (71 P. S. § 732-302).

The compilation, editing, and supplementation of the Pennsylvania Code are performed by the Legislative Reference Bureau under the policy supervision and direction of the Joint Committee on Documents, 45 Pa.C.S. § 701 (relating to official codification created). Editing, supplementation, printing, distribution and marketing of the Pennsylvania Code was awarded following the submission of bids to Fry Communications, 800 West Church Road, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, 17055.

Further information on the structure of the Code, its relationship with the Pennsylvania Bulletin, public access to documents on file in the Legislative Reference Bureau, and other matters related to the CDL is contained in Title 1, Pennsylvania Code, infra.

Availability. The Joint Committee on Documents is charged with administering the CDL with a view toward encouraging the widest possible dissemination of documents among the persons affected thereby which is consistent with the due administration of public affairs, 45 Pa.C.S. § 503 (relating to general administration of part) and to this end has adopted a schedule of subscription prices which are intended to make it more practical for the average business organization, law firm, or other group to subscribe to the Code than to take the time and trouble to refer to public law library copies.




Instructions For Use

 
How To Cite
Cite by title number and section number. Example: Title 1, Pennsylvania Code, Section 17.51. (Short form: 1 Pa. Code § 17.51).
 
How To File
The Code is a loose-leaf service. Title 1 is preceded by a Master Transmittal Sheet (known also as the ‘‘Pennsylvania Code Reporter''), which indicates the old pages to be removed and the new pages accompanying the Master Transmittal Sheet to be inserted in order to revise and update the Code. Each title of the Code is preceded by its own Transmittal Sheet which contains a ‘‘Complete Title Contents'' table constituting a certification by the Director of the complete contents of the title under 45 Pa.C.S. § 902 as of the date contained therein. The Master Transmittal Sheet included immediately preceding the Transmittal Sheet for Title 1 of the Code sets forth the Transmittal Sheet for each title. This table may be used to determine whether the user has the latest available revisions for any particular title. A user may, in turn, then refer to the current issue of the Pennsylvania Bulletin, the official gazette of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania published under 45 Pa.C.S. §§ 724, 725, which contains the issue date of the latest Master Transmittal Sheet in a box on the reverse of the cover page.

When superseded pages are removed, they may be retained for historical purposes (see ‘‘HOW TO USE'', below). Superseded pages should be filed in the order of their serial numbers (not page numbers), which are four, five or six digit numbers in parenthesis located at the lower left-hand corner of each leaf, e.g., ‘‘(0046)''. Each time any change is made to a Code page a new serial number is assigned to the new leaf. Accordingly, when filing superseded pages for historical purposes, each leaf should be inserted in numerical sequence based on the higher of the serial numbers on the two sides of the leaf.
 

How To Use
Finding the Regulation or Other Document. The Pennsylvania Code is arranged by subjects. Each title brings together administrative regulations, court rules or other documents on related subjects. Within each title in descending order come parts, chapters, subchapters and sections. In some titles there are also subparts, articles, divisions and subdivisions. Each title is independently numbered and chapters in a title are sequentially numbered from the beginning of each title. Each section bears a two part number, separated by a decimal point, the digits preceding the decimal point identifying the number of the chapter, and the digits following the decimal point indicating the relative position of the section in the chapter. Thus § 17.51 indicates that the section is located in Chapter 17.

The first section of each title is usually numbered ‘‘1.1''. The sections thereafter run consecutively through the title except that gaps are left for expansion. The first page in each title is numbered 1-1. Pages are numbered by chapter and run consecutively through a title except where omissions are shown or decimal pages are added.

Using the Pennsylvania Bulletin. The Pennsylvania Bulletin serves as the temporary supplement to the Code. Once you have found a useful Code section, you should check the certification date of that Title's Transmittal Sheet. To cover the period from the certification date to today (generally three to four months), reference should be made to Bulletins issued during the period. The Bulletin contains an updated list of Pennsylvania Code Chapters Affected and a quarterly Subject Index as finding aids.

Finding the Source Note. It is intended that you should be able to find the history of each regulation or other document as far back as the publication dates of the various titles. For this purpose source notes have been added editorially. The note is not a part of the regulation. The source note indicates changes which have occurred since the title was originally published. A source note may appear at the end of the section in which you are interested. If not, you must look further. First, see if there is a source note at the end of the preceding section. (Occasionally, when two or more consecutive new sections are filed at the same time, a source note referring to both sections is placed at the end of the first one.) If still no source note covering the particular section is found, in the following order look at:
   (a) Preceding the first section in the chapter or subchapter;
   (b) Preceding the first section in the article or part; and
   (c) Preceding the first section in the title.

If there is no source note in any of these places, the regulation was in the original publication of the title unless there has been a revision of the entire chapter, article, part, or title. To find the original publication date or revision date of a title, see the first page of that title or the source note preceding the first section in that title. The first page of a chapter or subchapter also frequently indicates a publication or revision date for that part of the title only.

Using the Source Note. Under 45 Pa.C.S. § 903 the effective date of a document depends upon several factors. If the document was adopted on or after August 18, 1970 (see 1 Pa.B. 90) it is effective from the issue date of the Pennsylvania Bulletin in which it, or its official synopsis (see 1 Pa. Code § 13.21), was published or the effective date stated in the document, whichever is later. The source note shows how the document was adopted, when it became effective, and the serial numbers of the loose-leaf pages of the Code containing the immediately preceding text of the document. By referring to the source note contained in such immediately preceding document you may obtain the serial numbers of the Code pages containing the next preceding version of the document, and so on back to the original publication of the Code. For libraries which contain bound pages of the Code in serial number sequence see 1 Pa. Code § 5.2(b).

In the case of those regulations which were published in the original titles, you know merely that the regulation as originally published had been filed with the Legislative Reference Bureau prior to and was in force on the date of publication. To get the source and effective date of the regulation as originally published you should consult the Legislative Reference Bureau.

Finding the Citation of Authority and Name of Agency. An agency which files an administrative regulation is required to cite the statutory or other authority under which it was promulgated (45 P. S. § 1206). When you look for the citation of authority you should follow the same procedure as when looking for the history. If the identity of the agency which made the regulation is not clear from the chapter or other heading, the note which contains the citation of authority names the agency. Sometimes in amending a section, an agency cites an authority in addition to that previously cited for the section. In such instance, both the additional authority cited at the end of the section and the blanket authority covering it and other sections should be consulted.


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