AN ACT TO REQUIRE THE SOCIAL SERVICES COMMISSION OF THE DIVISION OF SOCIAL SERVICES TO REVIEW POLICIES, GUIDELINES, AND OTHER INTERPRETIVE STATEMENTS AND SUBMIT A REPORT TO THE OFFICE OF ADMINISTRATIVE HEARINGS.
Sections 1 - 4
Requires the North Carolina Division of Social Services (Division), by and through the Social Services Commission (Commission), to prepare and submit for review to the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) a comprehensive report of all of its policies, guidelines, and other interpretive statements by May 31, 2022. Specifies that the report must include such policies, guidelines, or other interpretive statements that the Division or any of its subdivisions has sought to implement or enforce that may directly or substantially affect the procedural or substantive rights or duties of persons not employed by the Division or any of its subdivisions. Requires the report to include an explanation for any policies, guidelines, and other interpretive statements not adopted as a rule the Commission believes are not in violation of statutory rule-making requirements. Excludes any emergency, temporary, or permanent rule adopted by the Division in accordance with statutory rule-making requirements.
Requires the Commission and OAH to jointly review the report to identify any policies, guidelines, or other interpretive statements in violation of the statutory rule-making requirements. Requires that if there is disagreement between the Commission and the OAH during the joint review, then OAH must refer the policy, guideline, or interpretive statement in disagreement to the Rules Review Commission (RRC) for a determination. Allows the Commission to file an action for declaratory judgement if the Commission disagrees with the determination of the Rules Review Commission upon referral.
Deems any existing policies, guidelines, and interpretive statements identified through joint review or determined by the RRC as being in violation of statutory rulemaking requirements to be interim rules so long as they do not conflict with any provisions of the General Statutes. Such interim rules become null and void July 1, 2023, if the Commission has failed to adopt the interim rule as a permanent rule by that date in accordance with statutory rulemaking requirements. Provides for a reviewing court to extend the interim rule period pending review of a declaratory judgement action filed by the Commission. Deems any policy, guideline, or other interpretive statement issued by the Division after the date the act becomes law void one year after issuance, with authority granted to the DHHS Secretary to re-issue the policy, guideline, or other interpretive statement for an additional one-year period.
Amends GS 93B-8.1 to expand the defined term applicant to include a person who makes application for licensure from a State agency licensing board.
Sections 5 and 6
Amends GS 150B-21.3 regarding the effective dates of permanent rules as follows. Amends subsection (b) to reference new GS 150B-21.3B(b) which establishes procedures for legislative review of rules; deletes subsection (b1) which provided for delayed effective dates of rules; deletes subsection (b2) which established the process by which a person may object to a rule; deletes subsection (c) which authorized the Governor to make a rule effective by executive order; deletes subsection (d) which defined a legislative day and legislative day of adjournment; and amends subsection (f) to include approval of a rule for which no notice or hearing is required by the Codifier of Rules, if applicable, for certain permanent rules.
Enacts GS 150B-23.1B establishing procedures for legislative review of rules as follows. Defines legislative day. Establishes procedures for filing objections to the adoption of permanent rules. Permits any person to object to adoption of a permanent rule by filing written comments with the agency and, if the objection is not resolved, by filing written objections to the RRC clearly requesting review by the NCGA in accordance with instructions posted on the Commission’s website. Provides for the rule to become effective under the delayed effective date requirements of subsection (e) if the Commission receives written objections from 10 or more persons no later than 5:00 P.M. on the day following the day the Commission approves a rule. Requires the Commission to notify the agency that the rule is subject to legislative rule.
Authorizes an agency to adopt as a temporary rule a permanent rule that is subject to legislative review if the rule would have met the criteria of GS 150B-21.1(a) at the time the notice of the rule was published in the North Carolina Register. Allows the agency to make other rules effective under the delayed effective date requirements of subsection (e) by giving written notice to the Commission if a rule under legislative review is among a group of related rules adopted at the same time.
Authorizes any NCGA member to introduce a bill during the first 30 legislative days of the regular session specifically disapproving a rule approved by the Commission or that has not yet become effective or has been made effective by executive order pursuant to subsection (f). Requires the bill to refer to the rule by its Administrative Code citation and state that the rule is disapproved.
Provides for a delayed effective date of rules subject to legislative review as follows. Rules approved by the Commission on or before December 31 become effective on the 31st legislative day of the Regular Session in the following calendar year unless a bill disapproving the rule is introduced before that legislative day. If a bill disapproving the rule is timely introduced, the rule becomes effective on August 1 of the calendar year following the calendar year the Commission approved the rule. Provides that a permanent rule not approved by the Commission or disapproved by a bill that becomes law does not become effective.
Authorizes the Governor to make a permanent rule approved by the Commission effective by Executive Order subject to the delayed effective date requirements of subsection (e) when the Governor finds that the rule is necessary to protect public health, safety, or welfare. Requires the Codifier of Rules to reflect this action when entering the rule in the Administrative Code. Provides for continued effect of a rule made effective by executive order unless disapproved by the NCGA in a bill that becomes law before August 1 of the year following the year in which the executive order is issued, and requires the Codifier of Rules to note in the Administrative Code that the rule was not disapproved by the NCGA.
Sections 5 and 6 are effective January 1, 2022.