Structure and Membership

The Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules (JLCAR) was established in 1983 by the state legislature to provide legislative oversight in the area of administrative rulemaking by the agencies of the executive branch. Legislative oversight by a special committee is a common but not universal feature of the administrative rulemaking process in other states too. The structure, powers, and duties of the JLCAR are set out in RSA 541-A:2 and RSA 541-A:13. See also Rules of the JLCAR.

The regular membership of the JLCAR is composed of 5 members of the State Senate and 5 members of the House of Representatives, with 5 alternates from each chamber to fill in for absent members. Every 2 years the Senate members are appointed by the President of the Senate, and the House members by the Speaker of the House. No more than 3 regular members, and 3 alternate members, from each chamber may be from the same party. A quorum for action by the JLCAR is 6 members.

The Chairmanship rotates every 2 years between the Senate and the House. Pursuant to RSA 541-A:2, I, the JLCAR Chairman and Vice-Chairman are elected by the JLCAR members themselves.

The membership of the JLCAR for the 2021/2022 legislative sessions is as follows:
Senate Members House Members
Sen. John Reagan, Chair Rep. Carol McGuire, Vice Chair
Sen. James Gray Rep. Alan Bershtein
Sen. Suzanne Prentiss Rep. William Hatch
Sen. Ruth Ward Rep. Timothy Lang
Sen. Rebecca Whitley Rep. Peter Schmidt
Sen. Kevin Avard (Alt.) Rep. Fred Doucette (Alt.)
Sen. Regina Birdsell (Alt.) Rep. Claire Rouillard (Alt.)
Sen. Sharon Carson (Alt.) Rep. Terry Roy (Alt.)
Sen. Kevin Cavanaugh (Alt.) Rep. Dianne Schuett (Alt.)
Sen. Rebecca Perkins Kwoka (Alt.) Rep. Edith Tucker Alt.)

POWERS AND DUTIES

The JLCAR must meet at least once a month, or more often as necessary, to review proposed rules filed by agencies for JLCAR review as final proposals for regular proposed rules, as proposed interim rules, as objection responses to prior JLCAR objections, as expedited repeals, or as expedited revisions to forms (after 1-1-10). See RSA 541-A:13 and RSA 541-A:19. Under the JLCAR rules, the regular monthly meeting date is the third Friday of each month unless rescheduled or postponed. See JLCAR Meeting Dates. The JLCAR may also hold a special public hearing on any proposed or adopted rule.

All JLCAR meetings are open to the public, and the public may testify about any proposed or adopted rule on the JLCAR's agenda.

The JLCAR may approve, conditionally approve, or object to final proposals or proposed interim rules on certain grounds set by statute and as further clarified by the JLCAR's own rules. See Flow Chart, RSA 541-A:13, RSA 541-A:19, and Rules of the JLCAR. JLCAR approval is not required except for a proposed interim rule. Agencies may amend a proposed rule in response to an objection and still seek JLCAR approval, or the agency may withdraw the rule.

The JLCAR may not object to an emergency rule but may petition for its repeal if the agency has not demonstrated that the rule is necessary to prevent an imminent peril to the public health or safety. See RSA 541-A:18.

An agency may not adopt a proposed regular rule after responding to an objection until the JLCAR has had an opportunity to examine the response and decide whether to approve the rule, make a final objection, or vote to support the introduction of a joint resolution. See RSA 541-A:13, V.

A FINAL OBJECTION IS NOT A VETO nor does it delay adoption of a rule, but it does shift the burden of proof to the agency on the lawfulness of the rule in a court challenge or court enforcement action of the rule. See RSA 541-A:13, VI.

A VOTE TO SPONSOR A JOINT RESOLUTION DOES NOT VETO THE RULE but delays its adoption for a limited time in order for the legislature to consider the joint resolution as a piece of legislation. If enacted, the joint resolution may permanently prevent the adoption. See RSA 541-A:13, VII.

JLCAR STAFF

Pursuant to RSA 541-A:2, I and as described in the JLCAR's rules and the New Hampshire Drafting and Procedure Manual for Administrative Rules, the Office of Legislative Services, Administrative Rules serves as legal and clerical staff for the JLCAR.

The JLCAR attorneys:
  • Read and critique all proposed agency rules and agency responses to JLCAR objections to advise the JLCAR of problems that form potential bases for JLCAR objections or petitions under RSA 541-A;
  • Prepare and provide, at the request of the JLCAR, staff comments on proposed rules to the agencies involved, so that agencies may be aware of areas of potential objection and have an opportunity to address these areas before the proposed rules are filed for review at a JLCAR meeting;
  • Meet and discuss with agencies, as necessary, the staff comments and JLCAR objections; and
  • Respond to questions from legislators, agencies, and the public about the rulemaking process and JLCAR activities.
Clerical functions include:
  • The receipt of all correspondence for the JLCAR,
  • Preparation of draft agendas for approval by the Chair or Vice-Chair;
  • Preparation of member information packets for JLCAR meetings,
  • Preparation and mailing of written notification of JLCAR actions and decisions, and
  • Preparation of draft action minutes of the JLCAR meetings.

Hard copy verbatim transcripts of JLCAR meetings are prepared by the Office of Legislative Budget Assistant and kept on file with the Administrative Rules office.

Questions or comments for the JLCAR may be directed to the Administrative Rules office as follows:

    Office of Legislative Services
    Administrative Rules
    25 Capitol Street, Room 219
    Concord, NH 03301-6312

    Tel. (603) 271-3680
    Fax (603) 271-7871
    TDD Access: Relay NH 1-800-735-2946 or dial 711 (in NH)
JLCAR STAFF and E-MAIL