150B-21.2. Procedure for adopting a permanent rule.

(a) Steps. - Before an agency adopts a permanent rule, the agency must comply with the requirements of G.S. 150B-19.1, and it must take the following actions:

(1) Publish a notice of text in the North Carolina Register.

(2) When required by G.S. 150B-21.4, prepare or obtain a fiscal note for the proposed rule.

(3) Repealed by Session Laws 2003-229, s. 4, effective July 1, 2003.

(4) When required by subsection (e) of this section, hold a public hearing on the proposed rule after publication of the proposed text of the rule.

(5) Accept oral or written comments on the proposed rule as required by subsection (f) of this section.

(b) Repealed by Session Laws 2003-229, s. 4, effective July 1, 2003.

(c) Notice of Text. - A notice of the proposed text of a rule must include all of the following:

(1) The text of the proposed rule, unless the rule is a readoption without substantive changes to the existing rule proposed in accordance with G.S. 150B-21.3A.

(2) A short explanation of the reason for the proposed rule.

(2a) A link to the agency's Web site containing the information required by G.S. 150B-19.1(c).

(3) A citation to the law that gives the agency the authority to adopt the rule.

(4) The proposed effective date of the rule.

(5) The date, time, and place of any public hearing scheduled on the rule.

(6) Instructions on how a person may demand a public hearing on a proposed rule if the notice does not schedule a public hearing on the proposed rule and subsection (e) of this section requires the agency to hold a public hearing on the proposed rule when requested to do so.

(7) The period of time during which and the person within the agency to whom written comments may be submitted on the proposed rule.

(8) If a fiscal note has been prepared for the rule, a statement that a copy of the fiscal note can be obtained from the agency.

(9) Repealed by Session Laws 2013-143, s. 1, effective June 19, 2013.

(d) Mailing List. - An agency must maintain a mailing list of persons who have requested notice of rule making. When an agency publishes in the North Carolina Register a notice of text of a proposed rule, it must mail a copy of the notice or text to each person on the mailing list who has requested notice on the subject matter described in the notice or the rule affected. An agency may charge an annual fee to each person on the agency's mailing list to cover copying and mailing costs.

(e) Hearing. - An agency must hold a public hearing on a rule it proposes to adopt if the agency publishes the text of the proposed rule in the North Carolina Register and the agency receives a written request for a public hearing on the proposed rule within 15 days after the notice of text is published. The agency must accept comments at the public hearing on both the proposed rule and any fiscal note that has been prepared in connection with the proposed rule.

An agency may hold a public hearing on a proposed rule and fiscal note in other circumstances. When an agency is required to hold a public hearing on a proposed rule or decides to hold a public hearing on a proposed rule when it is not required to do so, the agency must publish in the North Carolina Register a notice of the date, time, and place of the public hearing. The hearing date of a public hearing held after the agency publishes notice of the hearing in the North Carolina Register must be at least 15 days after the date the notice is published. If notice of a public hearing has been published in the North Carolina Register and that public hearing has been cancelled, the agency shall publish notice in the North Carolina Register at least 15 days prior to the date of any rescheduled hearing.

(f) Comments. - An agency must accept comments on the text of a proposed rule that is published in the North Carolina Register and any fiscal note that has been prepared in connection with the proposed rule for at least 60 days after the text is published or until the date of any public hearing held on the proposed rule, whichever is longer. An agency must consider fully all written and oral comments received.

(g) Adoption. - An agency shall not adopt a rule until the time for commenting on the proposed text of the rule has elapsed and shall not adopt a rule if more than 12 months have elapsed since the end of the time for commenting on the proposed text of the rule. Prior to adoption, an agency shall review any fiscal note that has been prepared for the proposed rule and consider any public comments received in connection with the proposed rule or the fiscal note. An agency shall not adopt a rule that differs substantially from the text of a proposed rule published in the North Carolina Register unless the agency publishes the text of the proposed different rule in the North Carolina Register and accepts comments on the proposed different rule for the time set in subsection (f) of this section.

An adopted rule differs substantially from a proposed rule if it does one or more of the following:

(1) Affects the interests of persons who, based on the proposed text of the rule published in the North Carolina Register, could not reasonably have determined that the rule would affect their interests.

(2) Addresses a subject matter or an issue that is not addressed in the proposed text of the rule.

(3) Produces an effect that could not reasonably have been expected based on the proposed text of the rule.

When an agency adopts a rule, it shall not take subsequent action on the rule without following the procedures in this Part. An agency must submit an adopted rule to the Rules Review Commission within 30 days of the agency's adoption of the rule.

(h) Explanation. - An agency must issue a concise written statement explaining why the agency adopted a rule if, within 15 days after the agency adopts the rule, a person asks the agency to do so. The explanation must state the principal reasons for and against adopting the rule and must discuss why the agency rejected any arguments made or considerations urged against the adoption of the rule. The agency must issue the explanation within 15 days after receipt of the request for an explanation.

(i) Record. - An agency must keep a record of a rule-making proceeding. The record must include all written comments received, a transcript or recording of any public hearing held on the rule, any fiscal note that has been prepared for the rule, and any written explanation made by the agency for adopting the rule. (1973, c. 1331, s. 1; 1975, 2nd Sess., c. 983, s. 63; 1977, c. 915, s. 2; 1983, c. 927, ss. 3, 7; 1985, c. 746, s. 1; 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 1022, s. 1(1), (7); 1987, c. 285, ss. 7-9; 1989, c. 5, s. 1; 1991, c. 418, s. 1; 1995, c. 507, s. 27.8(d); 1996, 2nd Ex. Sess., c. 18, s. 7.10(e); 2003-229, s. 4; 2011-398, s. 5; 2013-143, s. 1; 2013-413, s. 3(a).)