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; CLARIFY THE AUTHORITY OF BOARDS TO REQUIRE CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORDS; AND UPDATE THE PROCESS FOR LEGISLATIVE REVIEW OF RULES.
Senate committee substitute makes the following changes to the 1st edition.
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 (was, its existing publications, policies, and procedures) by May 31, 2021 (was, May 31, 2020). Makes conforming changes throughout to refer to "policies, guidelines, and other interpretive statements," rather than "publications, policies, and procedures." 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 (was, such that are used by the Division or any of its subdivisions that may directly or substantially affect the described rights and duties). No longer requires identification of policies and procedures used by the Division that satisfy the definition of a rule. 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 (similar to previous language). More specifically excludes any emergency, temporary, or permanent rule adopted by the Division in accordance with statutory rule-making requirements (previously, excluded existing rules of the Division or its subdivisions published in the NCAC).
Now requires the Commission and OAH to jointly review the report (rather than the findings of the report) to identify any policies, guidelines, or other interpretive statements in violation of the statutory rule-making requirements (rather than identifying rules that are subject to the statutory rule-making requirements). Makes conforming changes to the procedures set out for referral to the Rules Review Commission in the event of disagreement between the Commission and OAH. Adds that the Commission can file an action for declaratory judgement if the Commission disagrees with the determination of the Rules Review Commission upon referral.
Regarding interim rules, renders interim rules authorized by the statute void on July 1, 2022, rather than July 1, 2021, if the Commission has failed to adopt the interim rule as a permanent rule consistent with statutory rule-making procedures by that date. No longer provides for failure to publish interim rules proposed to be adopted as permanent rules in the Register. 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. Adds new subsection (c1) to specify that the statute does not authorize an occupational licensing board or a State agency licensing board to require an applicant to consent to a criminal history record check or use of fingerprinting or other identifying information required by the State or National Repositories of Criminal Histories as a condition of granting or renewing a license.
Expands GS 150B-23 to require a contested case petition to state facts tending to establish that the named agency has sought to implement or enforce against the petitioner a policy, guideline, or other interpretive statement in violation of GS 150B-18, if appropriate.
Amends GS 150B-33 to authorize an administrative law judge (ALJ) to determine that a policy, guideline, or other interpretive statement that a State agency has sought to implement or enforce is unenforceable due to violation of statutory rule-making procedures. Allows for the ALJ to order refunds of collections pursuant to the policy, guideline, or other interpretive statement, and stay the determination of unenforceability to allow the agency time to properly adopt the policy, guideline, or other interpretive statement as rule. Further, allows the ALJ to order the assessment of reasonable attorneys' fees and witnesses' fees against the agency where the ALJ finds the agency has sought to implement or enforce a policy, guideline, or other interpretive statement in violation of statutory rule-making procedures.
Amends 150B-1 to exempt DHHS from statutory rule-making procedures in adopting rules relating to the administration or operation of the State Medicaid or NC Health Choice program (was, in adopting new or amending existing medical coverage policies for the State Medicaid and NC Health Choice programs).
Repeals GS 150B-1(d)(20), which exempted DHHS from statutory rule-making procedures in implementing, operating, or overseeing new 1915(b)/(c) Medicaid Waiver programs or amendments to existing 1915(b)/(c) Medicaid Waiver programs.
Enacts GS 108A-54.1B(e) to establish the following procedures for rules adopted by DHHS, except those regarding changes to medical coverage under Medicaid and NC Health Choice as provided in GS 108A-54.2. Requires DHHS to publish the proposed rule on its website 30 days prior to adoption of a new or amended rule; to provide copies of proposed rules to persons upon request; and to accept comments on the proposed new or amended rule for 30 days following publication. Waives the notice requirement if immediate adoption is necessary in order to fully effectuate the purpose of the rule.
Changes the act's titles.