(1) It is the policy of the state that the purpose of regulation is to protect the public by attaining compliance with the policies established by the Legislature. Fines and other penalties may be provided in order to assure compliance; however, the collection of fines and the imposition of penalties are intended to be secondary to the primary goal of attaining compliance with an agency’s rules. It is the intent of the Legislature that an agency charged with enforcing rules shall issue a notice of noncompliance as its first response to a minor violation of a rule in any instance in which it is reasonable to assume that the violator was unaware of the rule or unclear as to how to comply with it.
(2)(a) Each agency shall issue a notice of noncompliance as a first response to a minor violation of a rule. A “notice of noncompliance” is a notification by the agency charged with enforcing the rule issued to the person or business subject to the rule. A notice of noncompliance may not be accompanied with a fine or other disciplinary penalty. It must identify the specific rule that is being violated, provide information on how to comply with the rule, and specify a reasonable time for the violator to comply with the rule. A rule is agency action that regulates a business, occupation, or profession, or regulates a person operating a business, occupation, or profession, and that, if not complied with, may result in a disciplinary penalty.
(b) Each agency shall review all of its rules and designate those for which a violation would be a minor violation and for which a notice of noncompliance must be the first enforcement action taken against a person or business subject to regulation. A violation of a rule is a minor violation if it does not result in economic or physical harm to a person or adversely affect the public health, safety, or welfare or create a significant threat of such harm. If an agency under the direction of a cabinet officer mails to each licensee a notice of the designated rules at the time of licensure and at least annually thereafter, the provisions of paragraph (a) may be exercised at the discretion of the agency. Such notice shall include a subject-matter index of the rules and information on how the rules may be obtained.
(c) The agency’s review and designation must be completed by December 1, 1995; each agency under the direction of the Governor shall make a report to the Governor, and each agency under the joint direction of the Governor and Cabinet shall report to the Governor and Cabinet by January 1, 1996, on which of its rules have been designated as rules the violation of which would be a minor violation.
(d) The Governor or the Governor and Cabinet, as appropriate pursuant to paragraph (c), may evaluate the review and designation effects of each agency and may apply a different designation than that applied by the agency.
(e) This section does not apply to the regulation of law enforcement personnel or teachers.
(f) Designation pursuant to this section is not subject to challenge under this chapter.