A Ballotpedia survey of all 50 state constitutions and administrative procedure acts (APAs) revealed that 12 state APAs include provisions that define what qualifies as a guidance document and the other 38 states do not have provisions in their APAs or constitutions defining guidance as of September 2020.
Guidance is a term used to describe a variety of documents created by government agencies to explain, interpret, or advise interested parties about rules, laws, and procedures. Guidance documents typically clarify and affect how agencies administer regulations and programs. However, they are not legally binding in the same way as rules made using the rulemaking procedures established by a state’s Administrative Procedure Act.
The survey about guidance in the states is one of several about administrative agency dynamics, one of the five pillars key to understanding the main areas of debate about the nature and scope of the administrative state.