TITLE LV
PROCEEDINGS IN SPECIAL CASES

Chapter 541-A
ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE ACT

Section 541-A:1

    541-A:1 Definitions. –
In this chapter:
I. "Adjudicative proceeding" means the procedure to be followed in contested cases, as set forth in RSA 541-A:31 through RSA 541-A:36.
II. "Agency" means each state board, commission, department, institution, officer, or any other state official or group, other than the legislature or the courts, authorized by law to make rules or to determine contested cases.
III. "Committee" means the joint legislative committee on administrative rules, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.
IV. "Contested case" means a proceeding in which the legal rights, duties, or privileges of a party are required by law to be determined by an agency after notice and an opportunity for hearing.
V. "Declaratory ruling" means an agency ruling as to the specific applicability of any statutory provision or of any rule or order of the agency.
V-a. " Electronic document " means a document which complies with requirements prescribed by the director for filing under paragraph VI and established in the drafting and procedure manual under RSA 541-A:8.
VI. " File " means the actual receipt, by the director of legislative services, of a document required to be submitted during a rulemaking process established by this chapter, under the terms and in the format prescribed by the director. The term " file " shall also apply to any other response, submission, or written explanation required during a rulemaking process established by this chapter.
VI-a. "Final legislative action" means the defeat of a joint resolution sponsored by the legislative committee on administrative rules pursuant to RSA 541-A:13, VII(b) in either the house or the senate, or the failure of the general court to override the governor's veto of the joint resolution.
VII. "Fiscal impact statement" means a statement prepared by the legislative budget assistant, using data supplied by the rulemaking agency, and giving consideration to both short- and long-term fiscal consequences and includes the elements required by RSA 541-A:5, IV.
VII-a. " Form " means a document that establishes a requirement for persons outside the agency to provide information to an agency and the format in which such information must be submitted. The term does not include any document, regardless of what the document is called, that (a) is provided by an agency to facilitate the submission of information that is required to be submitted to the agency by federal or state statute, regulation, or rule and does not add to or modify such requirement or (b) that is used only by the agency to provide information to persons outside the agency.
VII-b. " Internet content " means material that exists only on a website on the Internet.
VIII. "License" means the whole or part of any agency permit, certificate, approval, registration, charter or similar form of permission required by law.
IX. "Licensing" means the agency process relative to the issuance, denial, renewal, revocation, suspension, annulment, withdrawal or amendment of a license, or the imposition of terms for the exercise of a license.
X. "Nonadjudicative processes" means all agency procedures and actions other than an adjudicative proceeding.
XI. "Order" means the whole or part of an agency's final disposition of a matter, other than a rule, but does not include an agency's decision to initiate, postpone, investigate or process any matter, or to issue a complaint or citation.
XII. "Party" means each person or agency named or admitted as a party, or properly seeking and entitled as a right to be admitted as a party.
XIII. "Person" means any individual, partnership, corporation, association, governmental subdivision, or public or private organization of any character other than an agency.
XIV. "Presiding officer" means that individual to whom the agency has delegated the authority to preside over a proceeding, if any; otherwise it shall mean the head of the agency.
XV. " Rule " means each regulation, standard, form as defined in paragraph VII-a, or other statement of general applicability adopted by an agency to (a) implement, interpret, or make specific a statute enforced or administered by such agency or (b) prescribe or interpret an agency policy, procedure or practice requirement binding on persons outside the agency, whether members of the general public or personnel in other agencies. The term does not include (a) internal memoranda which set policy applicable only to its own employees and which do not affect private rights or change the substance of rules binding upon the public, (b) informational pamphlets, letters, or other explanatory material which refer to a statute or rule without affecting its substance or interpretation, (c) personnel records relating to the hiring, dismissal, promotion, or compensation of any public employee, or the disciplining of such employee, or the investigating of any charges against such employee, or (d) declaratory rulings. The term " rule " shall include rules adopted by the director of personnel, department of administrative services, relative to the state employee personnel system. Notwithstanding the requirements of RSA 21-I:14, the term "rule" shall not include the manual described in RSA 21-I:14, I or the standards for the format, content, and style of agency annual and biennial reports described in RSA 21-I:14, IX, which together comprise the manual commonly known as the administrative services manual of procedures. The manual shall be subject to the approval of governor and council.
XV-a. " Signature " means a person's written name used as a form of identification, whether in original, photocopied, or scanned form.
XVI. " Standing policy committee " means a committee listed in rules of the house of representatives or the senate to which legislation including rulemaking authority was originally referred for hearing and report.

Source. 1994, 412:1, eff. Aug. 9, 1994. 2000, 288:2. 2006, 145:2, eff. July 21, 2006. 2009, 232:1, 2, eff. Jan. 1, 2010. 2010, 123:1, eff. July 1, 2010 at 12:01 a.m.; 123:2, eff. June 9, 2010. 2012, 62:1, eff. July 13, 2012. 2020, 37:69, eff. Sept. 27, 2020. 2021, 59:1, 2, eff. July 24, 2021.

Section 541-A:2

    541-A:2 Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules. –
I. There is hereby created a joint legislative committee to be known as the joint legislative committee on administrative rules. The committee shall be composed of 10 members of the general court and 10 alternates to be appointed for 2-year terms ending on the first Wednesday in December of even-numbered years as follows: 5 members of the house of representatives, appointed by the speaker of the house in consultation with the minority leader, not more than 3 of whom shall be from the same party; 5 members of the senate, appointed by the senate president in consultation with the minority leader, not more than 3 of whom shall be from the same party; 5 alternate members of the house of representatives appointed by the speaker of the house in consultation with the minority leader, not more than 3 of whom shall be from the same party; and 5 alternate members of the senate, appointed by the senate president in consultation with the minority leader, not more than 3 of whom shall be from the same party. If a member of the committee is unable, for any reason, to attend a meeting or a portion of a meeting of the committee, the chair shall designate an alternate member to serve regardless of the number of other senators or representatives who attend the meeting. The committee shall elect a chair and a vice-chair from among its members, provided that the chair shall rotate biennially between the house and senate members.
II. The joint legislative committee on administrative rules shall meet at least once each month and more often as necessary for the prompt discharge of its duties. The director of legislative services shall provide services to the committee. The joint legislative committee on administrative rules shall adopt rules to govern its operation and organization. A quorum of the committee shall consist of 6 members. Members of the committee shall be entitled to legislative mileage as provided to members for attendance at sessions of the general court.
III. The committee may hold public hearings on a proposed or previously adopted rule on its own initiative. The committee shall give public notice of any hearing at least 7 days in advance in the rulemaking register. Any public hearing shall be scheduled at a time and place chosen to afford opportunity for affected persons to present their views. The committee may consult with the standing legislative committee having jurisdiction in the area of the rule under review.
IV. In addition to its ongoing review of proposed and adopted rules, the committee shall:
(a) Petition an agency under RSA 541-A:4 to adopt rules if the agency has clear rulemaking authority which it has not used.
(b) Review statutory passages granting rulemaking authority. On the basis of this review, the committee shall, before each regular legislative session, make written recommendations to the president of the senate and the speaker of the house as to how such passages should be amended to eliminate confusing, inefficient, or unnecessary statutory language.
(c) Make written recommendations, when appropriate, to the president of the senate and the speaker of the house as to how the legislative oversight of rulemaking might be improved. These recommendations may include proposed amendments to RSA 541-A.
(d) Have the authority to amend and provide the final approval of the drafting and procedure manual developed by the director of legislative services and the commissioner of administrative services under RSA 541-A:8.
(e) Notify the chairpersons of appropriate standing committees of the general court in writing when committee recommendations are made to agencies relative to legislation as a result of reviewing proposed and adopted rules.
(f) Make written recommendations, when appropriate, to the president of the senate, the speaker of the house of representatives, and the chairs of standing committees of the general court having jurisdiction over the subject matter of an agency concerning the amendment or repeal of the statutory authority of an agency that has enforced rules which are not effective or not otherwise valid, or that has not commenced rulemaking or adopted rules as required by statute.
(g) [Repealed.]

Source. 1994, 412:1. 2000, 288:3. 2002, 150:5; 217:7. 2003, 319:160, eff. July 1, 2003. 2009, 230:3, eff. Sept. 14, 2009. 2010, 123:3, eff. June 9, 2010. 2020, 37:78, eff. Sept. 27, 2020.

Section 541-A:3

    541-A:3 Procedure for Adoption of Rules. –
Except for interim or emergency rules, an agency shall adopt a rule by:
I. Filing a notice of the proposed rule under RSA 541-A:6, including a fiscal impact statement and a statement that the proposed rule does not violate the New Hampshire constitution, part I, article 28-a;
II. Providing notice to occupational licensees or those who have made timely requests for notice as required by RSA 541-A:6, III;
III. Filing the text of a proposed rule under RSA 541-A:10;
IV. Holding a public hearing and receiving comments under RSA 541-A:11;
V. Filing a final proposal under RSA 541-A:12;
VI. Responding to the committee when required under RSA 541-A:13; and
VII. Adopting and filing a final rule under RSA 541-A:14.

Source. 1994, 412:1, eff. Aug. 9, 1994.

Section 541-A:3-a

    541-A:3-a Specificity of Rules; Identification of State or Federal Law. –
I. If an agency proposes a rule pursuant to RSA 541-A:3 or 541-A:19, the agency shall identify the specific section or sections of state or federal statutes or regulations which the rule is intended to implement in the notice required pursuant to RSA 541-A:6 and 541-A:19, II, and either in the rule, or in a separate cross-reference table pursuant to paragraph II. The notice shall be in such form as the director of legislative services shall prescribe until otherwise provided by the drafting and procedure manual adopted pursuant to RSA 541-A:8. The identification in the rule shall be made in the manner specified in the drafting and procedure manual.
II. If the specific section or sections of state statute or federal statute or regulation required by paragraph I are not identified in the rule itself, the agency shall file the information in a separate cross-reference table with each filing of the proposed or adopted rule other than an emergency rule. The agency shall make the table available to the public with a proposed or adopted rule whenever the rule is made available to or requested by the public. Unless otherwise specified by the drafting and procedure manual, the table shall be filed as an appendix to the rule and, when the rule is published pursuant to RSA 541-A:15, shall be published as an appendix to the rule chapter containing the rule. The table shall not be required to be filed on a separate page.
III. General references to the name or title of a state or federal statute or regulation shall not suffice for the purposes of this section. To the extent that specific provisions of the proposed rule are designed to implement different sections or provisions of state or federal statutes or regulations, the agency shall reference the state or federal statute or regulation as provided in paragraph I, with the provision of the proposed rule that is intended to implement that statute or regulation.

Source. 1998, 347:1. 2006, 145:3, eff. July 21, 2006.

Section 541-A:3-b

    541-A:3-b Restriction on Rules Incorporating Documents by Reference. – No agency may propose or adopt a rule under RSA 541-A:3 or RSA 541-A:19 that incorporates by reference any code, rule, or document from another state government without specific authority in the authorizing legislation or specific legislative approval for such a rule.

Source. 2003, 137:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2004.

Section 541-A:4

    541-A:4 Petition for Adoption of Rules. –
I. Any interested person may petition an agency to adopt, amend, or repeal a rule. Within 30 days of receiving the petition, or 30 days after the next scheduled meeting of a board, commission, or group receiving the petition, the agency shall determine whether to grant or deny the petition and notify the petitioner. If the agency decides to deny the petition, the agency shall notify the petitioner of its decision in writing and shall state its reasons for denial. If the agency grants the petition, it shall notify the petitioner and commence the rulemaking proceeding by requesting a fiscal impact statement pursuant to RSA 541-A:5 within 120 days of receipt of the petition and continuing the proceeding as specified in RSA 541-A:3.
II. Notwithstanding paragraph I, if the committee petitions an agency to adopt, amend, or repeal a rule, and the agency does not notify the committee that rulemaking has commenced within one year of receiving the petition, or does not file a final proposal under RSA 541-A:12 within 2 years of receiving the petition, the committee may file legislation to repeal the agency's rulemaking authority or otherwise amend the agency authority.

Source. 1994, 412:1. 2000, 288:4, eff. July 1, 2000. 2016, 63:1, eff. July 4, 2016.

Section 541-A:5

    541-A:5 Fiscal Impact Statements. –
I. The agency shall provide the legislative budget assistant with adequate details of the intended action and supporting data to enable the legislative budget assistant to prepare a fiscal impact statement.
II. The legislative budget assistant shall develop a form which shall specify the details and supporting data necessary to assess the fiscal impact of the intended action. The fiscal impact of a proposed rule which was previously effective but has expired, or of a proposed rule which adopts a current agency policy, procedure, or practice as a rule for the first time, shall not be assessed as an existing rule but as a proposed rule which is not yet effective.
III. The legislative budget assistant shall establish a schedule of deadlines for submission of the fiscal impact form, and the agency shall file the completed form with the legislative budget assistant in accordance with such deadlines.
IV. The fiscal impact statement issued by the legislative budget assistant shall not be limited to dollar amounts, but shall include a discussion of the methodology used to reach any stated amounts. In addition, the fiscal impact statement shall consist of:
(a) A narrative stating the costs and benefits to the citizens of the state and to the political subdivisions of the intended action.
(b) A conclusion as to the cost or benefit to the state general fund or any state special fund of taking the intended action.
(c) An explanation of, and citation to, the federal mandate for the intended action, if there is such a mandate, and how that mandate affects state funds.
(d) A comparison of the cost of the intended action with the cost of the existing rule, if there is an existing rule, and, to the extent that the proposed rule had expired, indicating the cost of the expired rule and, if applicable, the difference in cost of any proposed change from the expired rule.
(e) An analysis of the general impact of the intended action upon any independently owned businesses, including a description of the specific reporting and recordkeeping requirements upon small businesses which employ fewer than 10 employees.
V. All agencies are directed to cooperate with the legislative budget assistant in the preparation of fiscal impact statements.
VI. Agencies shall also obtain an amended fiscal impact statement from the legislative budget assistant only if as a result of notice and hearing a change has been made which affects the original fiscal impact statement. Agencies shall file the amended fiscal impact statement as part of the final proposal pursuant to RSA 541-A:12, II.
VII. In this section, " intended action " means the proposed adoption, amendment, readoption, readoption with amendment, or repeal of a rule pursuant to RSA 541-A, as described in the drafting and procedure manual for administrative rules pursuant to RSA 541-A:8.

Source. 1994, 412:1. 2000, 288:5, 6. 2001, 110:1, eff. Aug. 25, 2001. 2015, 234:1-3, eff. Sept. 11, 2015.

Section 541-A:6

    541-A:6 Notice of Rulemaking Proceedings. –
I. The agency shall give at least 20 days' notice of its intent to hold a public hearing and shall also give notice of the cut-off date for the submission of written testimony pursuant to RSA 541-A:11, I, on any proposed adoption, amendment, readoption, readoption with amendment, or repeal of a rule. The notice periods shall begin on the day after the date of publication in the rulemaking register. The notice shall be in such form as the director of legislative services shall prescribe and shall include:
(a) The name and address of the agency.
(b) The statutory authority for the rule.
(c) Whether the intended action is an adoption, amendment, repeal, readoption, or readoption with amendment.
(d) The rule number and title.
(e) The date of the first agency public hearing and the cut-off date for the submission of written materials to the agency.
(f) If existing rules are being amended, readopted, or readopted with amendment, a concise summary of the existing rules and any proposed amendments, and if the proposed rules are being adopted, a concise summary of the proposed rules.
(g) A listing of people, enterprises, and government agencies affected by the rule.
(h) The name, address, and telephone number of an individual in the agency able to answer questions on the proposed rule.
(i) The fiscal impact statement completed by the legislative budget assistant.
(j) A statement, with adequate details and supporting data, that the proposed rule does not violate the New Hampshire constitution, part I, article 28-a.
II. The director of legislative services may refuse to publish a notice if the director determines that the notice does not conform to the requirements of the drafting and procedure manual under RSA 541-A:8.
III. The agency shall send notice to the director of legislative services, to all persons regulated by the proposed rules who hold occupational licenses issued by the agency, and to all persons who have made timely request for advance notice of rulemaking proceedings. Upon request the agency shall send notice to the president of the senate, to the speaker of the house of representatives, and to the chairpersons of the legislative committees having jurisdiction over the subject matter. Notice shall be made not less than 20 days before the first agency public hearing required by RSA 541-A:11, I. Notice to occupational licensees shall be by U.S. Mail, electronically, agency bulletin or newsletter, public notice advertisement in a publication of daily statewide circulation, or in such other manner that is reasonably calculated to inform such licensees of the proposed rulemaking. The committee may identify additional methods of notifying occupational licensees that are deemed sufficient.

Source. 1994, 412:1. 1998, 213:1. 2000, 288:7. 2006, 145:4, eff. July 21, 2006. 2011, 252:1, 2, eff. Sept. 11, 2011. 2012, 247:37, eff. Aug. 17, 2012. 2020, 37:70, eff. Sept. 27, 2020.

Section 541-A:7

    541-A:7 Style of Rules. – Rules shall be written in a clear and coherent manner using words with common and everyday meanings for those persons who engage in the activities that are regulated by the rules, which may include technical language as necessary.

Source. 1994, 412:1. 2006, 145:5, eff. July 21, 2006.

Section 541-A:8

    541-A:8 Drafting and Procedure Manual. – Each agency shall conform to a drafting and procedure manual for rules, including agency forms, developed by the director of legislative services and the commissioner of administrative services, subject to amendment and final approval by the committee. The director may require any agency to rewrite any rule, including any agency form, submitted for filing to conform to this manual until that rule is adopted and filed under RSA 541-A:14 or RSA 541-A:19 or the form is adopted pursuant to RSA 541-A:19-b.

Source. 1994, 412:1. 2000, 288:8, eff. July 1, 2000. 2015, 234:4, eff. Sept. 11, 2015.

Section 541-A:9

    541-A:9 Rulemaking Register. –
I. The director of legislative services shall publish directly online a weekly rulemaking register which shall contain:
(a) Notice of intended rulemaking actions.
(b) Notice of rules adopted under RSA 541-A:14, RSA 541-A:18, and RSA 541-A:19.
(c) Nonconfidential opinions of the attorney general under RSA 541-A:28.
(d) Final objections under RSA 541-A:13, V.
(e) Notices of continued or postponed public comment hearings under RSA 541-A:11.
(f) Notices of declaratory rulings issued pursuant to rules adopted under RSA 541-A:16, I(d).
(g) Notice for the submission of comments on possible rulemaking under RSA 541-A:11, VIII.
(h) Publication of notice of the list of regulated toxic air pollutants and classifications by the department of environmental services under RSA 125-I:4.
(i) At the request of any agency, any other notices or documents related to rulemaking, at the discretion of the director.
(j) A list of proposals filed under RSA 541-A:12, I and proposed interim rules filed under RSA 541-A:19, II, and placed on the agenda for committee review at a regularly scheduled or special committee meeting.
I-a. Prior to publication, the director of legislative services may correct clarity, formatting, typographical, spelling, and punctuation errors, as well as unintentional errors in references and citations in a submission. Consistent with RSA 541-A:6, II, the director shall notify the agency prior to publication of the notice of any amendments made to the notice and may set a deadline for agency comment on the amendments.
I-b. The date of publication of the rulemaking register shall be the date on which the register is available to the public on the general court information services web site.
I-c. The director of legislative services may prescribe the specific electronic file format for all documents provided by state agencies for inclusion in the register.
II. The rulemaking register shall be made available free of charge.

Source. 1994, 412:1. 1996, 279:6. 2000, 288:9, eff. July 1, 2000. 2011, 252:3, 4, eff. Sept. 11, 2011. 2018, 28:2, eff. July 14, 2018; 217:2, eff. July 14, 2018 at 12:01 a.m. 2020, 37:71, eff. Sept. 27, 2020.

Section 541-A:10

    541-A:10 Filing of Proposed Rule Text; Establishing and Revising Text. –
I. At the same time the notice required by RSA 541-A:6, I is filed, the agency shall file the text of the proposed rule with the director of legislative services. The text of each proposed rule filed shall encompass at least a full rules section. The text of the proposed rules as filed by the agency pursuant to RSA 541-A:3, III shall not be changed prior to the hearing held pursuant to RSA 541-A:11, I(a).
II. The agency shall not establish the text of the final proposal until after the conclusion of the public comment period established pursuant to RSA 541-A:11, I(b). If the agency elects to solicit comment pursuant to RSA 541-A:11, I(c), the agency shall prepare a draft final proposal that is annotated to show how the rules as initially proposed are proposed to be changed. In response to comment received, the agency may revise the draft prior to filing the final proposal in accordance with RSA 541-A:12.

Source. 1994, 412:1, eff. Aug. 9, 1994. 2011, 107:1, eff. July 30, 2011; 252:5, eff. Sept. 11, 2011. 2015, 234:5, eff. Sept. 11, 2015. 2017, 156:207, eff. July 1, 2017. 2020, 37:72, eff. Sept. 27, 2020.

Section 541-A:11

    541-A:11 Public Hearing and Comment. –
I. (a) Each agency shall hold at least one public hearing on all proposed rules filed pursuant to RSA 541-A:3 and shall afford all interested persons reasonable opportunity to testify and to submit data, views, or arguments in writing or, if practicable for the agency, in electronic format, in accordance with the terms of the notice filed pursuant to RSA 541-A:3, I and the provisions of this section. The office of legislative services shall provide oral or written comments on potential bases for committee objection under RSA 541-A:13, IV in a form and manner determined by the director of the office of legislative services. Each agency shall require all materials submitted in writing to be signed by the person who submits them, and the agency shall transfer to hard copy, if practicable for the agency, all materials submitted as diskette, electronic mail, or other electronic format. Copies of the proposed rule shall be available to the public under RSA 91-A and at least 5 days prior to the date of the hearing.
(b) For rules proposed by a board or commission, a period of at least 5 business days after the hearing shall be provided for the submission of materials in writing or in electronic format, unless a shorter period is specified in the notice. If a shorter period is specified in the notice, the deadline for the submission of such materials shall not be earlier than the scheduled conclusion of the public hearing. For rules proposed by an agency official, a period of at least 5 business days after the hearing shall be provided in all instances. If a hearing is continued or postponed as provided in paragraph III or IV of this section, the period for the submission of materials in writing or in electronic format shall be extended unless the previously-established deadline meets the applicable requirement specified above.
(c) An agency may hold a public hearing or otherwise solicit public comment on a draft final proposed rule prior to filing the final proposed rule pursuant to RSA 541-A:3, V. Notice of such hearing or comment period shall be provided by such means as are deemed appropriate to reach interested persons, which may include publishing a notice in the rulemaking register.
II. For rules proposed by a board or commission, each hearing shall be attended by a quorum of its members. For rules proposed by an agency official, each hearing shall be held by the official having the rulemaking authority, or designee, who shall be knowledgeable in the particular subject area of the proposed rules.
III. To provide reasonable opportunity for public comment, the agency may continue a public hearing past the scheduled time or to another date, or may extend the deadline for submission of written comment. If the agency continues the hearing or extends the deadline, it shall notify the public by any means it deems appropriate, including notice in the rulemaking register whenever practicable.
IV. A public comment hearing may be postponed in the event of any of the following:
(a) Inclement weather.
(b) Illness or unavoidable absence of the official with rulemaking authority.
(c) Lack of a quorum due to illness or unavoidable absence.
(d) Determination by the agency that postponement of the public comment hearing shall facilitate greater participation by the public. If a public comment hearing is postponed, the agency shall provide notice in the rulemaking register at least 5 days before such postponed public comment hearing, and may also provide notice by any other means it deems appropriate.
V. A public comment hearing may be moved to another location if the agency determines for any reason that the original location is not able to accommodate the public. If changing the location does not also necessitate a change in the date of the public comment hearing, the agency shall post notice of the new location at the originally scheduled facility. If changing the location necessitates a change in the date of the public comment hearing, the agency shall provide notice as required by paragraph IV.
VI. On request, the agency shall promptly provide a copy of any rule as filed with the director at any stage in the rulemaking process. If the copy is mailed, it shall be sent not later than the end of the third working day after the request is received. The agency may, pursuant to RSA 91-A:4, IV, charge the actual cost of providing such copy.
VII. If requested by an interested person at any time before 30 days after final adoption of a rule, the adopting authority shall issue an explanation of the rule. The explanation shall include:
(a) A concise statement of the principal reasons for and against the adoption of the rule in its final form.
(b) An explanation of why the adopting authority overruled the arguments and considerations against the rule.
VIII. In addition to seeking information by other methods, an agency, before publication of a notice of proposed rulemaking under RSA 541-A:6, may solicit comments from the public on a subject matter of possible rulemaking under active consideration within the agency by causing notice to be published in the rulemaking register of the subject matter and indicating where, when, and how persons may provide comment on the rules under consideration.

Source. 1994, 412:1. 2000, 288:10, 11. 2003, 319:161, eff. July 1, 2003. 2011, 252:6, eff. Sept. 11, 2011.

Section 541-A:12

    541-A:12 Filing Final Proposal. –
I. After fully considering public comment and any committee comments or comments by the office of the legislative services received pursuant to RSA 541-A:11, and any other relevant information, a quorum of the members of the agency or the agency official having rulemaking authority shall establish the text of the final proposed rule. After the text of the final proposed rule has been established, the agency shall file the final proposal no earlier than 21 days and no later than 180 days after the date of publication of the notice in the rulemaking register. The agency shall file the final proposal with the director of legislative services. Final proposals filed no later than 21 days before a regularly scheduled committee meeting shall be placed on the agenda for that meeting. Final proposals filed fewer than 21 days before a regularly scheduled committee meeting shall be placed on the agenda of the following regularly scheduled committee meeting.
II. The final proposal shall include:
(a) A cover sheet listing:
(1) The number of the notice and the date the notice appeared in the rulemaking register;
(2) The name and address of the agency;
(3) The title and number of the rule; and
(4) A citation to the statutory authority for the rule.
(b) One copy of the established text of the final proposed rule.
(c) If required pursuant to RSA 541-A:5, VI, an amended fiscal impact statement from the legislative budget assistant stating that as a result of notice and hearing the rule did change and explaining how this change affects the original fiscal impact statement.
(d) A copy of the fixed text of the final proposed rule annotated clearly to show how the final proposed rule differs from the rule as initially proposed, if the text has changed.
III. An agency may establish requirements in its rules by citing to a document or to Internet content prepared by an unrelated third party. If state-enforceable requirements are so established, the agency shall file an incorporation by reference statement as specified in paragraph IV with the final proposal. No agency shall incorporate by reference any document or Internet content prepared by or on behalf of the agency, provided that documents prepared by a group or association of which the agency is a member may be incorporated by reference.
IV. Any incorporation by reference statement required by paragraph III shall include a statement signed by the adopting authority:
(a) Certifying that the text of the incorporated document or Internet content has been reviewed by the agency, with the name of the reviewing official;
(b) Explaining how the text of the incorporated document or Internet content can be obtained by the public, and at what cost;
(c) Explaining any modifications to the incorporated document or Internet content;
(d) Discussing the comparative desirability of reproducing the incorporated document or Internet content in full in the text of the rule; and
(e) Certifying that the agency has the capability and the intent to enforce the requirements being incorporated.
V. If an agency establishes requirements by incorporating undated Internet content by reference, the agency shall make a read-only copy of the incorporated Internet content no later than the date of filing the incorporation by reference statement, and make the dated copy available to the public.
VI. Each agency shall, upon request for a copy of any document or Internet content incorporated by reference in the agency's rules, make available for inspection any such document or downloaded Internet content.
VII. Each agency shall include the information required in subparagraph IV(b) as an appendix with each filing of the proposed or adopted rule. The agency shall make the information available to the public with a proposed or adopted rule whenever the rule is made available to or requested by the public. When the rule is published pursuant to RSA 541-A:15, the information shall be published as an appendix to the rule chapter containing the rule with a reference in the rule to the appendix. The information shall not be required to be filed on a separate page.

Source. 1994, 412:1. 2000, 288:12. 2001, 110:2. 2003, 319:162, eff. July 1, 2003. 2011, 252:7, eff. Sept. 11, 2011. 2012, 62:2, eff. July 13, 2012. 2016, 63:2, eff. July 4, 2016. 2020, 37:73, eff. Sept. 27, 2020.

Section 541-A:13

    541-A:13 Review by the Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules. –
I. The committee shall either approve the rule or enter a conditional approval or objection under paragraph V within 60 days of the filing of a final proposal under RSA 541-A:12, I, unless the deadline is waived for good cause pursuant to RSA 541-A:40. Objections to a rule may be made only once. The committee may not add or amend grounds for objection after a preliminary objection is made under paragraph V unless the agency's response to the objection creates the grounds or the agency requests a revised objection which includes them.
II. (a) If an agency has filed a final proposal, the director of legislative services shall notify the agency of any potential bases for committee objection identified by the office of legislative services by forwarding a copy of the final proposal with the counsel's comments noted thereon.
(b) In response to the comments, or for other reasons in lieu of requesting a preliminary objection, an agency may then file a request for conditional approval with the director for review by the committee and request that the committee conditionally approve the rule with an amendment. Both the request and the amendment shall be in writing and shall be filed at least 7 days prior to the regularly scheduled meeting or special meeting for which the final proposal has been placed on the agenda. An agency may request a waiver pursuant to RSA 541-A:40, IV of the 7-day deadline for good cause as established in the drafting and procedure manual under RSA 541-A:8, but the committee may for compelling reasons under the committee's rules pursuant to RSA 541-A:2, II accept a request for a conditional approval in the meeting under paragraph V.
(c) The committee may:
(1) Approve the rule as originally filed; or
(2) Act under paragraph V.
(d) If the committee approves the rule as filed pursuant to RSA 541-A:12, it shall notify the agency in writing of its approval.
(e) Failure to give notice of either approval, conditional approval, or objection at the end of the 60-day period under paragraph I shall be deemed approval.
III. If the rule is approved under subparagraph II(c) or (e), the agency may adopt the rule.
IV. The committee may object to a proposed rule if the rule is:
(a) Beyond the authority of the agency;
(b) Contrary to the intent of the legislature;
(c) Determined not to be in the public interest; or
(d) Deemed by the committee to have a substantial economic impact not recognized in the fiscal impact statement.
V. The following procedures shall govern committee objections and conditional approvals:
(a) If the committee objects to the final proposal as filed, it shall so inform the agency. In lieu of a preliminary objection, and with or without a written request under subparagraph II(a), the committee may vote to conditionally approve the rule with an amendment, provided that the committee specifies in its conditional approval the language of the amendment to address the basis for a preliminary objection. The committee shall notify the agency in writing of its conditional approval. Within 30 days of the meeting, or in the case of a board or commission, 7 days following its next regularly scheduled meeting, the agency shall submit a written explanation to the committee in the form of a letter and an annotated text of the final proposed rule detailing how the rule has been amended in accordance with the conditional approval. The written explanation shall be signed by the individual holding rulemaking authority, or, if a body of individuals holds rulemaking authority, by a voting member of that body, provided that a quorum of the body has approved. Failure to submit a written explanation in accordance with the conditional approval and this paragraph shall cause the conditional approval to be deemed a committee vote to make a preliminary objection on the date of the conditional approval. If the office of legislative services determines that the agency has amended the rule in accordance with the conditional approval and this paragraph, the office of legislative services shall promptly send written confirmation of compliance to the agency. The agency may then adopt the rule as amended.
(b) If the committee objects to the final proposal as filed or as amended pursuant to paragraph II, the committee shall send the agency a preliminary written objection stating the basis for the objection. A preliminary objection or conditional approval shall require the assent of a majority of the votes cast, a quorum being present. If a preliminary objection is made, the committee may send a copy of the preliminary objection to the appropriate house and senate standing policy committees and, if so, shall give notice to the agency. Within 30 days of the date the preliminary objection was entered, the standing policy committees at properly convened executive sessions shall review the proposed rules and the preliminary objection and shall adopt recommendations or comments relative to the basis for the preliminary objection and shall communicate the same to the committee.
(c) The agency shall respond to the preliminary objection by withdrawing the rule, by amending the rule to remove the basis for objection, or by making no change. The agency shall respond to a committee objection only once, and shall report its response in writing to the committee within 45 days of the committee's vote to make a preliminary objection. Failure to respond to the committee in accordance with this subparagraph shall mean the rulemaking procedure for that proposed rule is invalid; however, the agency is not precluded from initiating the process over again for a similar rule. After receipt of the agency response, the committee may modify its objections made under paragraph IV or approve the rule.
(d) After submitting its preliminary objection response and prior to the final committee vote on the final proposal, and in all cases, prior to the adoption of the rule by the agency, the agency may request that the committee approve the rule with further amendment or issue a revised objection. The committee may approve the rule with further amendment only if the agency submits the request and proposed amendment, in writing to the committee at least 7 days prior to the committee meeting at which the agency presents the rule. Submission of such a request shall not preclude the agency from requesting a revised objection if the committee does not approve the rule as requested.
(e) A revised objection may be made only once by the committee and may be made only at the request of the agency. The agency shall respond and the committee may review the response in the same manner as a preliminary objection. No further amendment may be made by the agency after it responds to the committee except as provided in RSA 541-A:14, II.
(f) If the agency responds but the basis for the committee's preliminary or revised objection has not been removed or the response creates a new basis for objection, the committee may, by majority vote of the entire committee, file a final objection. The final objection shall be filed in certified form with the director of legislative services for publication in the next issue of the rulemaking register.
VI. After a final objection by the committee to a provision in the rule is filed with the director under subparagraph V(f), the burden of proof shall be on the agency in any action for judicial review or for enforcement of the provision to establish that the part objected to is within the authority delegated to the agency, is consistent with the intent of the legislature, is in the public interest, or does not have a substantial economic impact not recognized in the fiscal impact statement. If the agency fails to meet its burden of proof, the court shall declare the whole or a portion of the rule objected to invalid. The failure of the committee to object to a rule shall not be an implied legislative authorization of its substantive or procedural lawfulness.
VII. (a) The provisions of this paragraph may be used by the committee as an alternative to or in addition to the final objection procedure employed by the committee in paragraph V.
(b) If an agency responds to a preliminary or revised objection but the basis for objection has not been removed or the response creates a new basis for objection, the committee may, within 50 days from the date on which the objection response was due and by majority vote of the entire committee, recommend legislative action through sponsorship of a joint resolution to implement its recommendation. Such vote shall prevent the rule from being adopted and filed by the agency for the period of time specified in subparagraph VII(c).
(c) If the committee votes to sponsor a joint resolution pursuant to subparagraph VII(b), the joint resolution shall be introduced in the house of representatives or senate within 20 business days of such vote when the general court is in session and 20 business days of the start of the following legislative session if such vote occurs when the general court is not in session. If a joint resolution is not introduced within this time frame, the agency may adopt the rule. If a joint resolution is introduced within this time frame, the agency shall be prevented from adopting and filing such rule until final legislative action is taken on the resolution or the passage of 90 consecutive calendar days during which the general court shall have been in session, whichever occurs first. The 90 calendar day period shall commence on the date such joint resolution has been introduced. If the session of the general court adjourns prior to the sixtieth calendar day after such joint resolution has been introduced, then the agency shall be prevented from adopting and filing such rule until 90 calendar days, beginning with the next session of the general court, have passed.
(d) The provisions of this paragraph shall apply to only the specific portion of the agency's rule identified in the joint resolution. The provisions of this paragraph shall not prevent an agency from adopting and filing the remainder of the rules in the final proposal under RSA 541-A while the committee pursues legislative action under this paragraph, nor shall it prevent the committee from also voting to enter a final objection pursuant to paragraph V.
(e) Nothing in this section shall prevent the general court from introducing legislation which addresses any matter included in a joint resolution introduced under the provisions of this section.
(f) Notwithstanding any house or senate rules to the contrary, a joint resolution which the committee votes to sponsor under subparagraph VII(b) may be introduced at any time during the legislative session. It shall be subject to the same rules as any other bill introduced at the beginning of the legislative session.

Source. 1994, 412:1. 2000, 288:13. 2001, 110:3. 2003, 319:163, 164. 2004, 180:7. 2006, 145:6, 7, eff. July 21, 2006. 2007, 80:1, eff. June 11, 2007. 2011, 107:2, eff. July 30, 2011; 252:16, eff. Sept. 11, 2011. 2020, 37:74, eff. Sept. 27, 2020.

Section 541-A:14

    541-A:14 Final Adoption. –
I. An agency may adopt a properly filed final proposed rule after:
(a) The passage of 45 days from filing of a final proposal under RSA 541-A:12, I, or 60 days from filing under RSA 541-A:12, I-a, without receiving notice of objection from the committee;
(b) Receiving approval from the committee;
(c) Written confirmation is sent to the agency by committee legal counsel relative to agency compliance with the committee's conditional approval pursuant to RSA 541-A:13, V(a);
(d) Passage of the 50-day period for committee review of the preliminary objection response, or revised objection response, if applicable, provided that the committee has not voted to sponsor a joint resolution pursuant to RSA 541-A:13, VII; or
(e) Final legislative action, as defined in RSA 541-A:1, VI-a, is taken on the joint resolution sponsored pursuant to RSA 541-A:13, VII(b) or the passage of the 90 consecutive calendar days specified by RSA 541-A:13, VII(c), whichever occurs first.
II. The text of the adopted rule shall be the same as the text of the final proposed rule submitted under RSA 541-A:12, unless revised by the agency in direct response to the committee's written objection or as otherwise provided in RSA 541-A:13. The director of legislative services may refuse to accept for filing any final rule which contains changes, other than minor editorial changes, that are not specifically made in accordance with the procedures provided in RSA 541-A:13, II(b) or RSA 541-A:13, V. The agency shall identify each minor editorial change in writing to the director of legislative services.
III. The agency shall file all adopted rules with the director of legislative services.
IV. Adopted rules shall become effective under RSA 541-A:16, III on the day after filing by the agency, or at a later date, provided that the agency so specifies in a letter to the director of legislative services, and further provided that the agency does not establish different effective dates for different provisions within the same rule. If the agency has specified a later effective date, the agency may modify the date by providing a statement to the director of legislative services which shall indicate the new effective date and all reasons for modifying the date. The statement shall be published by the director of legislative services in the rulemaking register. No modified effective date shall occur earlier than the date of publication in the rulemaking register. The director shall maintain a file of all currently effective rules, and each agency shall maintain a file of its own currently effective rules, both of which shall be open to the public.

Source. 1994, 412:1. 2000, 288:14. 2001, 110:4, eff. Aug. 25, 2001.

Section 541-A:14-a

    541-A:14-a Extension of Currently Effective Rules Pending Readoption. –
I. If an agency files a notice pursuant to RSA 541-A:6 to readopt existing rules, with or without amendments, the currently effective rules in the filing which would otherwise expire prior to the completion of the readoption of the rules by the agency shall continue in effect until the proposed rules are adopted and effective.
II. If, after filing a notice pursuant to paragraph I, an agency fails to file a final proposal by the deadline specified in RSA 541-A:12, fails to file a response to objection as specified in RSA 541-A:13, or fails to adopt and file the proposed rule as specified in paragraph III, the existing rules which would otherwise expire prior to the completion of the readoption of the rules by the agency shall expire 30 days after such deadline unless the agency has obtained a waiver of the deadline pursuant to RSA 541-A:40, IV(a). If the agency has obtained a waiver to a deadline, such existing rules shall expire 30 days after the deadline established pursuant to RSA 541-A:40, IV(b) if the required action is not taken.
III. If rules are extended pursuant to this section, the agency shall:
(a) Adopt and file the proposed rules as required by RSA 541-A:14, III no later than 30 days after the date on which the agency is allowed to adopt the rules under RSA 541-A:14, I; and
(b) File the rules as required by RSA 541-A:14, III with an effective date that is not more than 60 days from the date of filing, except that an agency may specify an effective date that is more than 60 days from the date of filing if a waiver is obtained pursuant to RSA 541-A:40.

Source. 2011, 252:8, eff. Sept. 11, 2011. 2015, 234:6, eff. Sept. 11, 2015.

Section 541-A:15

    541-A:15 Publication of Rules. –
I. The director of legislative services shall compile, index, and publish, or require agencies to publish, all effective rules adopted by each agency. The text of an adopted rule as filed with the director and which is effective shall be the official version of the rule, unless or until a version prepared for publication, which may have editorial changes not affecting the substance of the rule, is certified by the agency as the same in substance as originally filed. The certified version shall be the official version. Both the adopted rule as-filed and as-certified may be an electronic document and still be the official version if in compliance with RSA 541-A:1, V-a and VI and the drafting and procedure manual for administrative rules under RSA 541-A:8. The official version of the rule shall be available to the public by the agency and the director pursuant to RSA 541-A:14, IV.
I-a. The director shall send the text of a rule to be certified to the agency adopting the rule. The agency shall certify the rule under paragraph I within 120 days of receiving the first edited text. The 120-day deadline shall not apply to interim rules or emergency rules. A copy of each rule as filed and each as certified shall be sent by the director to the state library and the New Hampshire law library at the supreme court.
I-b. Compilations shall be supplemented, revised, or published as often as necessary. The compilation, indexing, or publishing of fiscal impact statements shall not be required. The director of legislative services, in consultation with state agencies, may enter into a contract for the preparation and publishing of the compilation of agency rules or any portion of it, or may certify a commercially prepared version of the compilation. Any version or portion of the code published under this section shall conform to all requirements of this chapter.
II. The director of legislative services shall assist the agencies in developing a publicly accessible electronic rules database.
III. The director of legislative services may omit from the compilation any rule the publication of which would be unduly cumbersome, expensive, or otherwise inexpedient, if the rule in printed or processed form is made available on application to the adopting agency, and if the compilation contains a notice stating the general subject matter of the omitted rule and stating how a copy thereof may be obtained.

Source. 1994, 412:1. 1998, 346:1, eff. Aug. 25, 1998. 2020, 37:75, eff. Sept. 27, 2020.

Section 541-A:16

    541-A:16 Rules; Filing Required. –
I. In addition to other rulemaking requirements imposed by law, each agency shall:
(a) Adopt as a rule a description of its organization, stating the general course and method of its operations and the methods by which the public may obtain information or make submissions or requests.
(b) Adopt rules of practice setting forth the nature and requirement of all formal and informal procedures available, including:
(1) [Repealed.]
(2) Rules governing adjudicative proceedings pursuant to RSA 541-A:30-a; and
(3) Rules governing public comment hearings for rulemaking.
(c) Adopt rules setting the format and procedures for submitting, considering, and disposing of rulemaking petitions under RSA 541-A:4.
(d) Adopt rules relating to filing petitions for declaratory rulings and their prompt disposition.
II. Each agency shall also:
(a) Make available to the public all written statements of policy or interpretations, other than rules, formulated or used by the agency in the discharge of its functions.
(b) File with the director of legislative services all declaratory rulings issued.
III. A rule shall become effective as of 12:01 a.m. on the day after the filing of the adopted rule or as of 12:01 a.m. on the date specified by the agency pursuant to RSA 541-A:14, IV, RSA 541-A:14-a, III, or RSA 541-A:19, X, or such other date and time as specified, provided that filing occurs before such effective date and time. Except as provided in RSA 541-A:14-a, a rule adopted under RSA 541-A:14, IV shall expire after the last day of the tenth year following its becoming effective, unless sooner amended, readopted, or repealed.
IV. If any deadline for action by an agency, the public, or the committee imposed by this chapter falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or state legal holiday, the deadline for such action shall be extended to the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or state legal holiday.

Source. 1994, 412:1. 1998, 298:1. 2006, 145:11, eff. July 21, 2006. 2011, 252:9, eff. Sept. 11, 2011.

Section 541-A:17

    541-A:17 Time Limit. –
I. No rule shall be effective for a period of longer than 10 years except as extended pursuant to RSA 541-A:14-a, but the agency may adopt an identical rule under RSA 541-A:5 through RSA 541-A:14-a, in conformance with the drafting and procedure manual adopted under RSA 541-A:8.
II. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph I, any organizational and procedural rules proposed and adopted pursuant to RSA 541-A:16, I and as identified in the drafting and procedure manual shall not expire, provided that they have been approved by the committee. No changes to such organizational and procedural rules may be made by the agency, other than editorial changes not affecting the substance of the procedural rules, without following the rulemaking procedures in this chapter. However, if the adoption or amendment of a statute governing the agency renders the agency's organizational and procedural rules no longer accurate, such rules shall expire one year after the effective date of the statute that makes such change, unless such organizational and procedural rules are amended, superseded, or repealed before such expiration. The agency shall commence rulemaking to amend its rules no later than 90 days after the effective date of such statute. If the agency reorganizes its organization and responsibilities in such a way that the agency's rules under RSA 541-A:16, I(a) describing its organization are no longer accurate, the agency shall amend its rules as soon as is practicable, but shall commence rulemaking not later than 90 days after such changes occur.

Source. 1994, 412:1. 2000, 288:15, eff. July 1, 2000. 2009, 232:5, eff. Jan. 1, 2010. 2011, 89:1, eff. July 26, 2011; 252:10, eff. Sept. 11, 2011.

Section 541-A:18

    541-A:18 Emergency Rules. –
I. An agency may proceed to adopt an emergency rule if it finds either that an imminent peril to the public health or safety requires adoption of a rule with less notice than is required under RSA 541-A:6 or that substantial fiscal harm to the state or its citizens could occur if rules are not adopted with less notice than is required under RSA 541-A:6. The rule may be adopted without having been filed in proposed or final proposed form and may be adopted after whatever notice and hearing the agency finds to be practicable under the circumstances. The agency shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that emergency rules are made known to persons who may be affected by them.
II. Notwithstanding RSA 541-A:16, III, emergency rules adopted under this section shall not remain in effect for more than 180 days from the date and time of filing with the director of legislative services. An agency may propose a permanent rule on the same subject at the same time that it adopts an emergency rule, but it shall not adopt the same emergency rule when the emergency rule expires.
III. Emergency rules adopted under this section shall include:
(a) The name and address of the agency.
(b) The statutory authority for the rule.
(c) Whether the intended action is an adoption, amendment, or repeal.
(d) The rule number and title.
(e) A signed and dated statement by the adopting authority explaining the nature of the basis for the emergency rule, including an explanation of the effect upon the state if the emergency rule were not adopted.
(f) A listing of people, enterprises, and government agencies affected by the rule.
(g) The name, address, and telephone number of an individual in the agency able to answer questions on the emergency rule.
IV. Emergency rules adopted under this section shall not be adopted solely to avoid the time requirements of this chapter. The committee may petition the adopting agency to repeal the rule if it determines that the statement of emergency required by RSA 541-A:18, III(e) is inadequate and does not demonstrate that the rule is necessary to prevent an imminent peril to the public health or safety.
V. Effective rules which are amended or repealed by adoption of an emergency rule shall again be effective in their original form upon expiration of the emergency rule.
VI. An agency may repeal an emergency rule by filing a statement with the director of legislative services which includes:
(a) The name and address of the agency.
(b) The rule number and title.
(c) The effective date of the repeal.
(d) The name, address, and telephone number of an individual within the agency able to answer questions about the repeal.
(e) An explanation of why the rule is being repealed.

Source. 1994, 412:1. 2000, 288:16, eff. July 1, 2000. 2011, 252:11, 12, eff. Sept. 11, 2011.

Section 541-A:19

    541-A:19 Interim Rules. –
I. An agency may adopt as an interim rule any rule which amends an existing rule, repeals an existing rule, or creates a new rule, and which is designed solely to allow the agency to:
(a) Conform with a new or amended codified state statute or chaptered session law, provided, however, that an agency shall not publish notice of a proposed interim rule more than 180 days after the effective date of the new or amended codified state statute or chaptered session law;
(b) Conform with a controlling judicial decision;
(c) Conform with a federal requirement which must be met sooner than the time periods allowed under RSA 541-A for a rule adopted under the procedures listed in RSA 541-A:3;
(d) Continue its rules which would otherwise expire prior to the completion of the readoption of the rules by the agency; or
(e) Minimize the time between the expiration of rules and their subsequent readoption by the agency.
II. An agency may adopt an interim rule under subparagraphs I(a), (b), or (c) without meeting the requirements of RSA 541-A:6 and RSA 541-A:9 through RSA 541-A:14 and an agency may adopt an interim rule under subparagraph I(d) or (e) without meeting the requirements of RSA 541-A:5 through RSA 541-A:14 provided the agency:
(a) Publishes notice of a proposed interim rule in a newspaper of daily statewide circulation and files the proposed interim rule, with the cover sheet as provided in paragraph IV, with the director of legislative services no later than the date of publication of the notice; or
(b) Files the proposed interim rule with the cover sheet as provided in paragraph IV, and the notice of the proposed interim rule with the director of legislative services, and has published notice in the rulemaking register.
III. Notice of an agency's intent to propose an interim rule shall include:
(a) The name and address of the agency.
(b) Citation to the statutory or other rulemaking authority for the proposed interim rule.
(c) Whether the proposed interim rule is an adoption, readoption, amendment, readoption with amendment, or repeal.
(d) The rule number and title.
(e) A concise summary explaining the effect of the proposed interim rule.
(f) A listing of people, enterprises, and government agencies affected by the proposed interim rule.
(g) A summary of the effect upon the state if the proposed interim rule were not adopted.
(h) The name, address, and telephone number of an individual in the agency able to answer questions on the proposed interim rule.
(i) The date the proposed interim rule will be filed with the director of legislative services.
(j) The expected date of review by the committee.
IV. Proposed interim rules filed under paragraph II shall include a cover sheet stating:
(a) The name and address of the agency.
(b) Citation to the statutory rulemaking authority for the proposed interim rule.
(c) Whether the intended action is an adoption, readoption, amendment, readoption with amendment, or repeal.
(d) The rule number and title.
(e) A signed and dated statement by the adopting authority explaining why an interim rule is necessary, including documentary evidence to prove the agency is acting in accordance with the terms of this section and is not adopting an interim rule solely to avoid the time periods imposed by RSA 541-A, except as provided in paragraph I of this section.
(f) A listing of people, enterprises, and government agencies affected by the proposed interim rule.
(g) The name, address, and telephone number of an individual in the agency able to answer questions on the proposed interim rule.
V. A proposed interim rule filed under paragraph II no less than 21 days before a regularly scheduled committee meeting shall be placed on the committee's agenda for review for that meeting. Publication of notice shall occur no less than 14 days before a regularly scheduled meeting. If the agency has published notice in a newspaper, pursuant to subparagraph II(a), the agency shall file a copy of the notice as it was published no later than 3 days after the date of publication. Proposed interim rules filed less than 21 days before a regularly scheduled committee meeting shall be placed on the agenda for review at the following regularly scheduled committee meeting or at a special meeting, as determined by the committee.
VI. The committee shall vote to approve or conditionally approve the rule or object under paragraph VII. Objections to a proposed interim rule may be made only once.
VII. The committee may object to a proposed interim rule if the rule is:
(a) Beyond the authority of the agency;
(b) Contrary to the intent of the legislature;
(c) Determined not to be in the public interest; or
(d) Deemed by the committee not to meet the requirements of paragraph I.
VIII. The following procedures shall govern committee review of interim rules:
(a) The director of legislative services shall notify the agency of any potential bases for committee objection by forwarding a copy of the proposed interim rule with comments noted thereon to the agency at least 7 days prior to the committee meeting at which the rule will be considered. Following receipt of the comments an agency may file a request for conditional approval of its interim rule with an amendment to address the noted potential bases for objection, or for other reasons in lieu of requesting an objection. Both the request for conditional approval and the amendment shall be in writing and shall be filed at least 3 days prior to the meeting for which the proposed interim rule has been placed on the agenda. An agency may request a waiver pursuant to RSA 541-A:40, IV of the 3-day deadline for good cause as established in the drafting and procedure manual under RSA 541-A:8, but the committee may for compelling reasons under the committee's rules pursuant RSA 541-A:2, II accept a request for a conditional approval in the meeting. The committee may approve the rule as originally proposed or conditionally approve the rule under subparagraph (b).
(b) If the committee objects to the proposed interim rule as filed, it shall so inform the agency. In lieu of an objection, and with or without a written request under subparagraph (a), the committee may vote to conditionally approve the rule with an amendment, provided that the committee specified in its conditional approval the language of the amendment to address the basis for a preliminary objection. The committee shall notify the agency in writing of its conditional approval. Within 14 days of the meeting, the agency shall submit a written explanation to the committee in the form of a letter and an annotated text of the final proposed rule detailing how the rule has been amended in accordance with the conditional approval. The written explanation shall be signed by the individual holding rulemaking authority, or, if a body of individuals holds rulemaking authority, by a voting member of that body, provided that a quorum of the body has approved. Failure to submit a written explanation in accordance with the conditional approval and this paragraph shall cause the conditional approval to be deemed a committee vote to make a preliminary objection on the date of the conditional approval. If the committee legal counsel determines that the agency has amended the rule in accordance with the conditional approval and this paragraph, the committee legal counsel shall promptly send written confirmation of compliance to the agency. The agency may then adopt the rule as amended.
(c) If the committee objects to the proposed interim rule as filed pursuant to subparagraph VIII(a), the committee shall send the agency a written objection stating the basis for the objection. An objection or a conditional approval shall require the assent of a majority of the votes cast, a quorum being present.
(d) If the committee makes an objection to the proposed interim rule pursuant to subparagraph VIII(c), the agency may cure the defect or withdraw the interim rule. The agency shall respond to a committee objection only once, and shall report its response in writing to the committee prior to its next regularly scheduled meeting. Failure to respond to the committee in accordance with this subparagraph shall mean the rulemaking procedure for that proposed interim rule is invalid; however, the agency is not precluded from initiating the process over again for a similar rule, provided the conditions in paragraph I are met.
(e) The committee shall review the response and vote to approve the response or continue the objection.
(f) The committee's objection shall not preclude the agency from adopting the substance of an interim rule by meeting the requirements of RSA 541-A:3.
IX. No proposed interim rule shall be adopted unless within 90 days of publication of the notice the committee votes to approve or conditionally approve the proposed interim rule.
X. No proposed interim rule shall be adopted unless the committee has voted to approve the proposed interim rule or conditionally approve the proposed interim rule, provided that the committee legal counsel has sent written confirmation to the agency pursuant to RSA 541-A:19, VIII(b). An adopted interim rule shall be filed with the director of legislative services no later than 30 days following committee approval or conditional approval. An interim rule shall be effective under RSA 541-A:16, III on the day after filing with the director of legislative services, or at a later date, provided the agency so specifies in a letter to the director of legislative services and the effective date is within 30 days following committee approval or conditional approval. Interim rules shall be effective for a period not to exceed 180 days. During the time an interim rule shall be in effect, the agency may propose a permanent rule to replace the interim rule once it expires, but it shall not adopt another interim rule to replace the expiring interim rule.

Source. 1994, 412:1. 2000, 288:17, 18. 2003, 309:1; 319:165. 2006, 145:8, 9, eff. July 21, 2006. 2011, 252:13, eff. Sept. 11, 2011. 2020, 37:76, 77, eff. Sept. 27, 2020.

Section 541-A:19-a

    541-A:19-a Expedited Repeal of Rules. –
I. An agency may repeal any rules using the expedited procedures of this section and without meeting the requirements of RSA 541-A:5-7 and RSA 541-A:9-14 if:
(a) The proposed repeal has been approved by the official or the group of individuals with rulemaking authority.
(b) The rule proposed for repeal encompasses at least a full rules section, as described in the drafting and procedure manual for administrative rules pursuant to RSA 541-A:8.
(c) The repeal is not being proposed for purposes of being superseded later by adoption of a new rule with a text amended from the repealed rule.
(d) The repeal of the rule pursuant to this section does not deprive a person of any right, duty, or privilege of that person which is protected by the due process provisions of the state or federal constitutions.
II. Notice of an agency's intent to repeal a rule shall include:
(a) The name and address of the agency.
(b) The statutory rulemaking authority for the rule.
(c) The rule number and title.
(d) An explanation of the reason for the proposed repeal.
(e) The name, address, electronic address, and telephone number of an individual in the agency able to answer questions about the proposed repeal and to arrange for reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities wishing to attend the public comment hearing.
(f) The date, time, and location of the public comment hearing.
III. The notice required by paragraph II shall be filed with the director of legislative services for publication in the rulemaking register.
IV. The agency shall file the text of the rule to be repealed with the notice filed pursuant to paragraph III.
V. There shall be a public comment hearing on the proposed repeal no sooner than 7 calendar days after the date of publication of the notice in the rulemaking register. There shall be a period for the submission to the agency of written or electronic public comment ending no sooner than the 3rd calendar day after the date of the public comment hearing. Copies of the text of the rules subject to repeal shall be available at the public comment hearing.
VI. If on the basis of public comment the official or the group of individuals with rulemaking authority determines that the rule should not be repealed, the agency shall so notify the director of legislative services and the rule shall not be repealed.
VII. The proposed repeal shall be placed on the agenda of the committee for review at the first regularly scheduled or special meeting at least 5 calendar days after the close of the period for written or electronic comment described in paragraph V. The committee may approve or object to the repeal. The committee may object to the repeal if the repeal is:
(a) Beyond the authority of the agency;
(b) Contrary to the intent of the legislature; or
(c) Deemed by the committee not to meet the requirements of paragraph I.
VIII. If the committee objects to the repeal, the repeal shall not be adopted. The committee's objection shall not preclude the agency from repealing the rule by meeting the requirements of RSA 541-A:3.
IX. If the committee approves the repeal, the agency may adopt the repeal and file a statement of the repeal with the director of legislative services. The repeal shall be effective as of 12:01 a.m. on the day after filing of the statement or as of 12:01 a.m. on the date specified by the agency, or such other date and time as specified, provided that the filing occurs before such effective date and time.

Source. 2004, 180:8, eff. June 1, 2004. 2009, 232:3, eff. Jan. 1, 2010.

Section 541-A:19-b

    541-A:19-b Adoption of Forms. – An agency may adopt a form as defined in RSA 541-A:1, VII-a by incorporating the actual form by reference or by setting forth the requirements of the form in rules adopted according to the procedures in this chapter.

Source. 2009, 232:4, eff. Jan. 1, 2010. 2011, 89:2, eff. July 26, 2011.

Section 541-A:19-c

    541-A:19-c Revisions to Forms; Expedited Procedure. –
I. An agency may make editorial changes to a previously adopted form without following the procedures required in RSA 541-A:19-b, in this section, or in RSA 541-A:3.
II. An agency may revise a form as defined in RSA 541-A:1, VII-a without meeting the requirements of RSA 541-A:5-7 and RSA 541-A:9-14 either in accordance with RSA 541-A:19-b or by providing notice and adopting the form in accordance with paragraphs III through VII.
III. Notice of an agency's intent to adopt a form or amendment to a form shall include:
(a) The name and address of the agency.
(b) The statutory authority for the form.
(c) An explanation of the reason for the proposed adoption or amendment of a form.
(d) The name, address, electronic address, and telephone number of an individual in the agency able to answer questions about the proposed form.
(e) The deadline for receipt by the agency of written or electronic public comment, which shall be no sooner than the 7th calendar day after the date of publication of the notice in the rulemaking register.
IV. The notice required by paragraph III shall be filed with the director of legislative services for publication in the rulemaking register. A copy of the form to be adopted shall be filed with the notice.
V. If on the basis of public comment the official or the group of individuals with rulemaking authority determines that the form should not be adopted, the agency shall so notify the director of legislative services and the form shall not be adopted.
VI. The proposed form shall be placed on the agenda of the committee for review at the first regularly scheduled or special meeting at least 5 calendar days after the close of the period for written or electronic comment described in subparagraph III(e). The committee may approve or object to the form. The committee may object to the adoption of the form if the form is:
(a) Beyond the authority of the agency;
(b) Contrary to the intent of the legislature; or
(c) Deemed by the committee not to meet the requirements of this section.
VII. Subsequent review and adoption of the form shall be as provided in RSA 541-A:13 for final proposed rules.

Source. 2009, 232:4, eff. Jan. 1, 2010.

Section 541-A:19-d

    541-A:19-d Expedited Amendment to Incorporation by Reference. –
I. An agency may amend any existing rules which incorporate by reference documents or Internet content pursuant to RSA 541-A:12, III-VII by using the expedited procedures of this section, and without meeting the requirements of RSA 541-A:5 and RSA 541-A:6 and RSA 541-A:9 through RSA 541-A:14 except as provided below, if:
(a) The proposed amendment has been approved by the official or the group of individuals with rulemaking authority.
(b) The proposed amendment only updates or changes the document or Internet content incorporated by reference, or amends related text, in the existing rule.
(c) The amended rule does not encompass more than a full rules section, as described in the drafting and procedure manual for administrative rules pursuant to RSA 541-A:8.
(d) The proposed amendment has no fiscal impact which would otherwise require a fiscal impact statement pursuant to RSA 541-A:5.
(e) The requirements of RSA 541-A:12, III-VII are met as they would be for final proposals as described in paragraph IV.
II. Notice of an agency's intent to amend a rule which incorporates by reference documents or Internet content shall include:
(a) The name and address of the agency.
(b) The statutory rulemaking authority for the rule.
(c) Whether the action is an amendment or readoption with amendment as described in the drafting and procedure manual for administrative rules pursuant to RSA 541-A:8.
(d) The rule number and title.
(e) A concise summary of the existing rule and the proposed amendment, and an explanation of the differences between the existing document or Internet content incorporated by reference and the document or Internet content in the amended rule.
(f) Identification of the state or federal statute or regulations which the rule is intended to implement pursuant to RSA 541-A:3-a.
(g) The deadline for receipt by the agency of written or electronic public comment, which shall be no sooner than the fourteenth calendar day after the date of publication of the notice in the rulemaking register.
(h) The name, address, electronic address, and telephone number of an individual in the agency able to answer questions about the amended rule.
III. The notice required by paragraph II shall be filed with the director of legislative services for publication in the rulemaking register.
IV. The agency shall file the amended rule with the notice filed pursuant to paragraph III, including an appendix pursuant to RSA 541-A:3-a, as described in the drafting and procedure manual for administrative rules pursuant to RSA 541-A:8. The agency shall also comply with RSA 541-A:12, III-VII as for filing final proposals, including filing of an incorporation by reference statement for each document or Internet content incorporated by reference.
V. Copies of the text of the amended rule shall be available to the public at the time the notice is filed, and a copy of the document or Internet content incorporated by reference shall also be available for inspection pursuant to RSA 541-A:12, VI.
VI. If on the basis of public comment the official or the group of individuals with rulemaking authority determines that the rule should not be amended by the expedited procedure, the agency shall so notify the director of legislative services and the rule shall not be amended under this section.
VII. The amended rule shall be placed on the agenda of the committee for review at the first regularly scheduled or special meeting at least 5 calendar days after the close of the period for written or electronic comment described in subparagraph II(g). The committee may approve, conditionally approve, or object to the amended rule pursuant to RSA 541-A:13, V-VII. The committee may object to the amended rule if the rule is:
(a) Beyond the authority of the agency;
(b) Contrary to the intent of the legislature;
(c) Deemed not to be in the public interest; or
(d) Deemed by the committee not to meet the requirements of paragraph I.
VIII. Subsequent review and adoption of the amended rule shall be as provided in RSA 541-A:13, V-VII and RSA 541-A:14 as for final proposed rules.

Source. 2015, 234:7, eff. Sept. 11, 2015.

Section 541-A:20

    541-A:20 Initiating Rulemaking Prior to Effective Date of Statutory Authority. – After the enactment and before the effective date of any statute granting rulemaking authority, the agency to whom such authority is granted may initiate procedures to adopt such rules; provided that the effective date of the rule, under RSA 541-A:14, IV or RSA 541-A:19, X shall not occur before the effective date of the act granting statutory authority for that rule.

Source. 1994, 412:1, eff. Aug. 9, 1994.

Section 541-A:20-a

    541-A:20-a Initiating Rulemaking Prior to Expiration Date of Existing Rule; Expired Rule. –
I. Provided that the relevant statute granting rulemaking authority for an existing rule is valid and in effect and requires the agency to adopt the rule, the agency to which such authority is granted shall act expeditiously to commence rulemaking pursuant to RSA 541-A to prevent expiration of such rules and to allow adequate time for the committee to consider the rules.
II. If an agency consistently fails to readopt its rules prior to their expiration as provided in paragraph I, the committee may direct the agency to contact the director to develop a timetable of readoption or readoption with amendments.
III. An agency shall not be precluded from adopting an interim rule pursuant to RSA 541-A:19, I(d) to keep rules from expiring or RSA 541-A:19, I(e) to put expired rules back into effect.

Source. 2009, 230:1, eff. Sept. 14, 2009.

Section 541-A:21

    541-A:21 Exceptions. –
I. Authority granted under the provisions of the following statutes shall be exempt from RSA 541-A:
(a) RSA 230:53, relative to the use of limited access highway facilities.
(b) RSA 236:1, II, relative to regulating, permanently or seasonally, the use of certain class I, II and III highways by the posting of traffic control stop signs, devices, and signals thereon.
(c) RSA 265:22, relative to painted marking of highways.
(d) RSA 265:62, relative to the establishment of state speed zones.
(e) RSA 265:71, relative to stopping, standing, or parking and the placing of signs relative thereto on certain highways.
(f) RSA 236:9, relative to excavation permits.
(g) RSA 236:13, relative to driveway permits.
(h) RSA 231:161, relative to licensing utility poles and appurtenances within public highways.
(i) RSA 266:18-c, V, relative to bridge weight limits.
(j) RSA 651-A:22, II, relative to credit for good conduct of prisoners.
(k) RSA 111, relative to the state guard.
(l) RSA 284:12, IV, relative to the sale of pari-mutuel pools as authorized under RSA 284:22 and RSA 284:22-a.
(m) RSA 237:5, II; 237:9; 237:17; 237:24, I; 237:34; and 237:40, relative to the establishment of toll rates for turnpikes.
(n) Except for rules adopted by the authority acting through the division of ports and harbors under RSA 12-G:42, X, which shall be subject to the provisions of RSA 541-A:3 through RSA 541-A:15, RSA 12-G, relative to the Pease development authority.
(o) [Repealed.]
(p) [Repealed.]
(q) RSA 374:8, relative to a uniform system of accounts for regulated utilities.
(r) RSA 21-P:27, II(a) and (b), relative to educational, training and evidentiary standards for fire service personnel and curriculum requirements for schools training fire service personnel.
(s) RSA 106-L:5, VI, relative to educational, training, and evidentiary standards and curriculum requirements for police and corrections personnel and courses and tuition students at such courses.
(t) RSA 260:65-b, relative to the multi-jurisdictional fuel tax agreement.
(u) RSA 162-A, relative to the business finance authority.
(v) Rules adopted under RSA 195-D, relative to the New Hampshire health and education facilities authority.
(w) RSA 485:16-b, II relative to limits on the concentration of methyl tertiary butyl ether in gasoline.
(x) RSA 204-C:53, relative to the housing finance authority.
(y) RSA 237:16-d, relative to the E-Z Pass Interagency Agreement for Operations.
(z) RSA 21-L:12-b, relative to bridge and highway construction requirements in AASHTO design standards and manuals.
(aa) RSA 21-H:8, III, relative to internal practices and procedures in the department of corrections.
(bb) RSA 170-B:18, VII, relative to background checks conducted as part of an adoption assessment, and RSA 170-E:29, II-a relative to background checks of prospective foster parents.
(cc) RSA 106-B:14, I-a, relative to the fee for criminal record checks of department of health and human services employees, service providers, and licensed and license-exempt child day care providers.
(dd) RSA 270:12, relative to boat operating restrictions.
(ee) RSA 155-A:10, V, relative to the amendments to the state building code and state fire code for the codes described in RSA 155-A:1, IV and IV-a.
(ff) RSA 153:5, I, relative to the adoption of the state fire code.
(gg) RSA 21-R:4, XX, relative to the telephony services manual developed by the department of information technology.

[Paragraph I(hh) effective as provided in 2014, 290:4.]


(hh) Rules relative to the state infrastructure bank established in RSA 21-L:19 through RSA 21-L:23 for transportation purposes.
(ii) [Repealed.]
(jj) RSA 162-S, relative to the extraterritorial financing powers of the business finance authority.
(kk) RSA 162-L, relative to the community development finance authority.
II. Rules adopted under RSA 394-A:7 prior to the effective date of the repeal of that chapter shall be exempt from committee review under RSA 541-A:13.
III. Rules adopted under RSA 161:4, VI, relative to rates of reimbursement to providers of medical services under the medical assistance program, shall be exempt from the requirements of RSA 541-A:5 through RSA 541-A:14.
III-a. Rules adopted relative to the budget adjustment factor contained within the Medicaid rate of reimbursement methodology for nursing facilities shall be exempt from the provisions of 541-A:5 through RSA 541-A:14 provided that the budget adjustment factor applied to the reimbursement methodology is equal to or less than 28.76 percent. If the budget adjustment factor to be applied to the reimbursement methodology is greater than 28.76 percent, the provisions of 541-A shall apply.
III-b. Rules adopted relative to the cost of living adjustment in social security benefits contained within the Social Services Block Grant program shall be exempt from the provisions of RSA 541-A:5 through RSA 541-A:14, provided that recipients receive proper notice that the income level has been adjusted.
IV. Rules adopted under RSA 125-F:5, IV and V, RSA 125-F:7, RSA 125-F:8, RSA 125-F:8-a, III, and RSA 125-F:22, III, to conform to 10 CFR and 21 CFR shall be exempt from the uniform system of numbering and drafting rules required by 1994, 412:52 and the drafting and numbering requirements of RSA 541-A:8. These rules shall be in compliance with RSA 541-A:7 if the wording is consistent with the language of the corresponding federal regulations.
V. Requirements on forms as specified in RSA 21-J:13-a shall be exempt from RSA 541-A.
VI. (a) Rules adopted under title XXXVII, relative to insurance regulation, shall be exempt from RSA 541-A:7 and RSA 541-A:8 and shall permit the use of terminology allowing for discretionary authority by the commissioner when:
(1) The wording is consistent with the language of corresponding National Association of Insurance Commissioners guidelines or models.
(2) The rule relates to technical instructions concerning the implementation of electronic or computerized programs or systems.
(3) The rule implements a federal benefit or program that requires the adoption of uniform language.
(b) As specified in RSA 400-A:15-d, forms adopted by the commissioner shall be exempt from RSA 541-A:7 and RSA 541-A:8.
VII. RSA 170-G:4, XVII, relative to the publication of rates for services, placements, and programs which are paid for by the department of health and human services pursuant to RSA 169-B:40, RSA 169-C:27, and RSA 169-D:29 shall be exempt from RSA 541-A.
VIII. Rules relative to the department of health and human services medical assistance program coverage criteria for medical services and items, adopted under either RSA 161:4-a, IX or other rulemaking authority of the commissioner of the department relative to the medical assistance program, shall be exempt from RSA 541-A:12, V and may incorporate by reference these criteria as Internet content without specifying a date or edition for the content incorporated. Amendments to these criteria shall be exempt from the requirements of RSA 541-A:5 through RSA 541-A:14.
IX. Rules of the department of transportation relating to the state bridge aid program or the state highway aid program, adopted under rulemaking authority of the commissioner of the department, shall be exempt from RSA 541-A:12, III and may incorporate by reference the department of transportation's Standard Specifications for Road and Bridge Construction, Highway Design Manual, and Bridge Design Manual without specifying a date or edition for the content incorporated, as provided in RSA 234:5, II and RSA 235:14, II.

Source. 1994, 412:1. 1995, 155:16; 179:2. 1996, 164:5; 292:39. 1997, 329:16. 1998, 207:9, IV. 1999, 253:17; 313:3. 2000, 166:5; 251:3. 2001, 247:4; 290:16. 2003, 242:19. 2005, 248:15, eff. Sept. 12, 2005. 2007, 60:2, eff. July 31, 2007; 240:1, eff. June 25, 2007; 263:175, II, eff. July 1, 2007; 325:6, eff. July 1, 2007. 2009, 144:130, eff. July 1, 2009. 2010, 93:1, eff. July 24, 2010; Sp. Sess., 1:73, 81, eff. June 10, 2010. 2011, 8:2, eff. June 24, 2011. 2012, 62:3, eff. July 13, 2012; 93:2, eff. July 28, 2012; 242:20, eff. June 18, 2012. 2013, 30:2, eff. May 16, 2013. 2014, 290:2, eff. as provided in 2014, 290:4. 2015, 176:2, eff. June 26, 2015; 272:51, eff. Oct. 1, 2015. 2016, 63:3, eff. July 4, 2016; 147:11, eff. July 1, 2016; 277:4, eff. June 17, 2016; 277:5, eff. July 1, 2017. 2017, 206:21, eff. Sept. 8, 2017. 2018, 331:15, eff. June 25, 2018. 2019, 299:2, eff. July 29, 2019; 346:217, eff. July 1, 2019. 2021, 91:405, eff. July 1, 2021.

Section 541-A:22

    541-A:22 Validity of Rules. –
I. No agency rule is valid or effective against any person or party, nor may it be enforced by the state for any purpose, until it has been filed as required in this chapter and has not expired.
II. Rules shall be valid and binding on persons they affect, and shall have the force of law unless they have expired or have been amended or revised or unless a court of competent jurisdiction determines otherwise. Except as provided by RSA 541-A:13, VI, rules shall be prima facie evidence of the proper interpretation of the matter that they refer to.
III. An agency shall not by rule:
(a) Provide for penalties or fines unless specifically authorized by statute.
(b) Require licensing, as defined in RSA 541-A:1, IX, unless authorized by a law which uses one of the specific terms listed in RSA 541-A:1, VIII.
(c) Require fees unless specifically authorized by a statute enforced or administered by an agency. Specific authorization shall not include the designation of agency fee income in the operating budget when no other statutory authorization exists.
(d) Provide for non-consensual inspections of private property, unless the statute enforced or administered by the agency specifically grants inspection authority.
(e) Delegate its rulemaking authority to anyone other than the agency named in the statute delegating authority.
(f) Adopt rules under another agency's authority.
(g) Expand or limit a statutory definition affecting the scope of who may practice a profession.
(h) Require a submission of a social security number unless mandated by state or federal law.
IV. No agency shall grant waivers of, or variances from, any provisions of its rules without either amending the rules, or providing by rule for a waiver or variance procedure. The duration of the waiver or variance may be temporary if the rule so provides.

Source. 1994, 412:1. 2003, 309:2, eff. July 1, 2004. 2015, 234:8, eff. Sept. 11, 2015.

Section 541-A:23

    541-A:23 Remedies for Procedural Failures. –
I. The following shall prevent a rule from taking effect:
(a) Failure to file with the director of legislative services;
(b) Failure to file with the committee;
(c) Failure to respond to an objection of the committee as required by RSA 541-A:13, V; or
(d) Failure to receive approval of the committee for a proposed interim rule, as required by RSA 541-A:19, X.
II. The following shall not affect the validity of a rule:
(a) Inadvertent failure to make required assurances relating to an incorporation by reference;
(b) Failure to certify that all procedures required by this chapter have been satisfied;
(c) Failure to meet the style requirements of RSA 541-A:7; or
(d) Inadvertent failure to mail notice or copies of any rule.
III. For other violations of this chapter, the court may fashion appropriate relief.
IV. An action to contest the validity of a rule for noncompliance with any of the provisions of this chapter other than those listed in paragraph I shall be commenced within one year after the effective date of the rule. Such actions shall be brought in the Merrimack county superior court. The plaintiff shall give notice of the action to the office of legislative services, division of administrative rules, at the time of filing. Upon receiving a judgment on the merits, the respondent agency or department shall also file a copy of that judgment with the office of legislative services, division of administrative rules.

Source. 1994, 412:1, eff. Aug. 9, 1994. 2017, 101:2, eff. Aug. 7, 2017.

Section 541-A:24

    541-A:24 Declaratory Judgment on Validity or Applicability of Rules. – The validity or applicability of a rule may be determined in an action for declaratory judgment in the Merrimack county superior court if it is alleged that the rule, or its threatened application, interferes with or impairs, or threatens to interfere with or impair, the legal rights or privileges of the plaintiff. The agency shall be made a party to the action. The plaintiff shall give notice of the action to the office of legislative services, division of administrative rules, at the time of filing. A declaratory judgment may be rendered whether or not the plaintiff has requested the agency to pass upon the validity or applicability of the rule in question. Upon receiving a declaratory judgment, the respondent agency or department shall also file a copy of that judgment with the office of legislative services, division of administrative rules.

Source. 1994, 412:1, eff. Aug. 9, 1994. 2017, 101:3, eff. Aug. 7, 2017.

Section 541-A:25

    541-A:25 Unfunded State Mandates. –
I. A state agency to which rulemaking authority has been granted, including those agencies, the rulemaking authority of which was granted prior to May 6, 1992, shall not mandate or assign any new, expanded, or modified programs or responsibilities to any political subdivision in such a way as to necessitate further expenditures by the political subdivision unless such programs or responsibilities are approved for funding by a vote of the local legislative body of the political subdivision. Such programs include those functions of a nature customarily undertaken by municipalities whether or not performance of such functions is required by statute.
II. Such programs also include, but are not limited to, functions such as police, fire and rescue, roads and bridges, solid waste, sewer and water, and construction and maintenance of buildings and other municipal facilities or other facilities or functions undertaken by a political subdivision.
III. Included in the scope and nature of such programs are those municipal functions which might be undertaken by a municipality or by a private entity and those functions which a municipality may legally choose not to undertake.

Source. 1994, 412:1, eff. Aug. 9, 1994.

Section 541-A:26

    541-A:26 Administration of Federal Mandates. – Any state agency, when administering federal mandates, shall not mandate or assign to any political subdivision any new, expanded or modified programs or responsibilities additional to the federal mandate in such a way as to necessitate additional local expenditures by the political subdivision unless such programs or responsibilities are fully funded by the state or unless such programs or responsibilities are approved for funding by a vote of the local legislative body of the political subdivision.

Source. 1994, 412:1, eff. Aug. 9, 1994.

Section 541-A:27

    541-A:27 Notification of Federal Statute and Regulation. – Any new, expanded, or modified programs or responsibilities based upon a federal mandate and lawfully mandated or assigned to any political subdivision shall specifically state the federal statute and regulation requiring such new, expanded, or modified programs or responsibilities.

Source. 1994, 412:1, eff. Aug. 9, 1994.

Section 541-A:28

    541-A:28 Opinions of the Attorney General. – The attorney general shall transmit a copy of every nonconfidential opinion relative to rulemaking or rulemaking authority issued by the attorney general or in the attorney general's name to the director of legislative services. The director shall publish such opinions in the rulemaking register.

Source. 1994, 412:1. 2000, 288:19, eff. July 1, 2000. 2018, 28:3, eff. July 14, 2018.

Section 541-A:29

    541-A:29 Agency Action on Applications, Petitions and Requests. –
In processing an application, petition, or request, in any matter other than rulemaking or a declaratory ruling, in which a response is specifically addressed to the applicant, petitioner, or requester, the agency shall:
I. Within 30 days of receipt, examine the application, petition, or request, notify the applicant of any apparent errors or omissions, request any additional information that the agency is permitted by law to require, and notify the applicant of the name, official title, address, and telephone number of an agency official or employee who may be contacted regarding the application.
II. Within a reasonable time, not to exceed 60 days, after receipt of the application, petition or request, or of the response to a timely request made by the agency pursuant to paragraph I, the agency shall:
(a) Approve or deny the application, in whole or in part, on the basis of nonadjudicative processes, if disposition of the application by the use of these processes is not precluded by any provision of law; or
(b) Commence an adjudicative proceeding in accordance with this chapter.
III. If the time limits prescribed by this section conflict with specific time limits provided for by other provisions of law, the specific time limits provided for by such other provisions shall control.
IV. An agency may extend the time periods for review provided for in this section or in any other provision of law upon written agreement of the applicant.

Source. 1994, 412:1, eff. Aug. 9, 1994. 2018, 279:6, eff. Jan. 1, 2019.

Section 541-A:29-a

    541-A:29-a Failure of Agency to Act. –
I. If an agency fails to take any required action on an application, petition, or request within the time limits prescribed by RSA 541-A:29 or any other provisions of law, the application, petition, or request shall be deemed approved and any permit, approval or other item requested shall be deemed granted to or received by the applicant, petitioner, or requestor, except as provided in RSA 310-A:1-d, V.
II. If a permit, approval, or other item has been granted under paragraph I, the applicant may request written confirmation of such grant from an agency. The agency shall provide an applicant written confirmation of such an approval within 14 days of the applicant's request.
III. A permit, approval, or other item shall not be granted by default if an applicant has agreed in writing to extend an agency's time for review pursuant to RSA 541-A:29, IV or any other provision of law.
IV. A grant of a permit, approval, or other item under this section shall not relieve the applicant, petitioner, or requestor from the obligation to comply with all federal, state, and local requirements applicable to activities authorized by the permit, approval, or other item.

Source. 2018, 279:9, eff. Jan. 1, 2019. 2022, 32:2, eff. July 2, 2022.

Section 541-A:30

    541-A:30 Agency Action Against Licensees. –
I. If a timely and sufficient application has been made in accordance with agency rules for renewal of a license for any activity of a continuing nature that does not automatically expire by law, the existing license shall not expire until the agency has taken final action upon the application for renewal. If the agency's final action is unfavorable, the license shall not expire until the last day for seeking judicial review of the agency's action, or a later date fixed by the reviewing court.
II. An agency shall not revoke, suspend, modify, annul, withdraw, or amend a license unless the agency first gives notice to the licensee of the facts or conduct upon which the agency intends to base its action, and gives the licensee an opportunity, through an adjudicative proceeding, to show compliance with all lawful requirements for the retention of the license.
III. If the agency finds that public health, safety or welfare requires emergency action and incorporates a finding to that effect in its order, immediate suspension of a license may be ordered pending an adjudicative proceeding. The agency shall commence this adjudicative proceeding not later than 10 working days after the date of the agency order suspending the license. A record of the proceeding shall be made by a certified shorthand court reporter provided by the agency. Unless expressly waived by the licensee, agency failure to commence an adjudicative proceeding within 10 working days shall mean that the suspension order is automatically vacated. The agency shall not again suspend the license for the same conduct which formed the basis of the vacated suspension without granting the licensee prior notice and an opportunity for an adjudicative proceeding.

Source. 1994, 412:1. 1999, 331:1, eff. Sept. 14, 1999.

Section 541-A:30-a

    541-A:30-a Rules for Adjudicative Proceedings. –
I. Subject to paragraph V, each agency shall adopt rules pursuant to RSA 541-A governing the nature and requirement of all formal and informal procedures available in an adjudicative proceeding.
II. The attorney general, in consultation with agencies that conduct adjudicative proceedings, and with the approval of the director of the office of legislative services, shall draft proposed rules on model procedures relative to adjudicative proceedings and request a fiscal impact statement pursuant to RSA 541-A:5 within 90 days of the effective date of this section. The attorney general shall adopt the model rules pursuant to RSA 541-A on behalf of agencies, for purposes described in paragraph V, that do not have adopted effective rules on adjudicative proceedings. The attorney general shall amend the model rules pursuant to RSA 541-A as necessary after consultation and approval as required for the original proposed model rules. Neither the original proposed model rules nor any amendments shall be adopted by the attorney general unless the committee has voted to approve them. Notwithstanding RSA 541-A:17, I, the original model rules and any amendments shall not expire.
III. The model rules adopted pursuant to paragraph II, and all rules on adjudicative proceedings, unless authorized otherwise by statutes governing an agency, shall address at least the following areas:
(a) Filing and service of documents;
(b) Appearances before agencies;
(c) Procedures for pre-hearing exchange of information;
(d) Burden of proof;
(e) Standard of proof;
(f) Computation of time periods;
(g) Roles of complainants, intervenors, and agency staff in disciplinary and enforcement proceedings;
(h) Continuances;
(i) Reopening of the record;
(j) Waiver of rules governing adjudicative proceedings;
(k) Procedure and criteria for the withdrawal of a presiding officer; and
(l) Retention schedule for written decisions or orders pursuant to RSA 541-A:35, subject to any longer periods for retention set by the director of the division of archives and records management of the department of state pursuant to rules adopted under RSA 5:40.
IV. Each agency may adopt, pursuant to RSA 541-A, the text of the model rules. In order to adopt any supplements or modifications to the model rules, each agency shall adopt, pursuant to RSA 541-A, the text of the model rules as amended by the supplements or modifications.
V. Notwithstanding the provisions of RSA 541-A:22, I, an agency shall apply the model rules as necessary in a particular adjudicative proceeding to the extent that the agency's rules or governing statutes do not address the procedures in the model rules, and provided that:
(a) Such use shall not conflict with a statute, judicial decision, or other rules of the agency;
(b) Notice shall be given to all parties with the notice pursuant to RSA 541-A:31, III of the extent to which the model rules will apply to the proceeding; and
(c) The agency shall provide copies of the notice to the attorney general, the director of the office of legislative services, and the joint legislative committee on administrative rules.
VI. A copy of the written decision or order pursuant to RSA 541-A:35 shall be readily available to the public pursuant to the provisions of RSA 91-A unless:
(a) Otherwise provided by statute; or
(b) The written decision or order has been disposed after a retention period adopted pursuant to paragraph III.
VII. Each agency shall retain a copy of the verbatim recording of all oral proceedings pursuant to RSA 541-A:31, VII at least 30 days after the opportunity for all administrative and judicial appeals has been exhausted.
VIII. The attorney general shall prepare and distribute to all agencies authorized to conduct contested cases copies of the model rules and any amendments thereto, along with recommended guidelines for presiding officers in an adjudicative proceeding. These guidelines shall be available to the public pursuant to RSA 91-A. The guidelines shall be updated annually to address relevant changes in statutes, rules, or judicial decisions. Each agency that receives the guidelines shall provide a copy to all presiding officers in a contested case and to all members of the agency who may render the final decision in a contested case.

Source. 1998, 298:2, eff. July 1, 1998. 2003, 97:4, eff. Aug. 5, 2003.

Section 541-A:31

    541-A:31 Availability of Adjudicative Proceeding; Contested Cases; Notice, Hearing and Record. –
I. An agency shall commence an adjudicative proceeding if a matter has reached a stage at which it is considered a contested case or, if the matter is one for which a provision of law requires a hearing only upon the request of a party, upon the request of a party.
II. (a) An agency may commence an adjudicative proceeding at any time with respect to a matter within the agency's jurisdiction, except that no disciplinary proceeding against an occupational licensee shall be initiated unless such action is commenced within 5 years of the date upon which the alleged violation of an applicable rule or statute occurred, or within 5 years of the date upon which the violation could reasonably have been discovered.
(b) The time limitation provided in subparagraph (a) shall be tolled (1) during the period of time during which a criminal action on the matter is pending in a trial court of this state, or of another state, or of the United States, (2) during the time in which a complainant is a minor or incapacitated, and (3) during any time which the accused prevents discovery of the subject matter of the alleged violation.
(c) The time limitations established in this paragraph shall not apply to the commencement of actions initiated by the real estate appraiser board under RSA 310-B.
III. In a contested case, all parties shall be afforded an opportunity for an adjudicative proceeding after reasonable notice. The notice shall include:
(a) A statement of the time, place, and nature of the hearing.
(b) A statement of the legal authority under which the hearing is to be held.
(c) A reference to the particular sections of the statutes and rules involved.
(d) A short and plain statement of the issues involved. Upon request an agency shall, when possible, furnish a more detailed statement of the issues within a reasonable time.
(e) A statement that each party has the right to have an attorney present to represent the party at the party's expense.
(f) For proceedings before an agency responsible for occupational licensing as provided in paragraph VII-a, a statement that each party has the right to have the agency provide a certified shorthand court reporter at the party's expense and that any such request be submitted in writing at least 10 days prior to the proceeding.
IV. Opportunity shall be afforded all parties to respond and present evidence and argument on all issues involved.
V. (a) Unless precluded by law, informal disposition may be made of any contested case, at any time prior to the entry of a final decision or order, by stipulation, agreed settlement, consent order or default.
(b) In order to facilitate proceedings and encourage informal disposition, the presiding officer may, upon motion of any party, or upon the presiding officer's own motion, schedule one or more informal prehearing conferences prior to beginning formal proceedings. The presiding officer shall provide notice to all parties prior to holding any prehearing conference.
(c) Prehearing conferences may include, but are not limited to, consideration of any one or more of the following:
(1) Offers of settlement.
(2) Simplification of the issues.
(3) Stipulations or admissions as to issues of fact or proof, by consent of the parties.
(4) Limitations on the number of witnesses.
(5) Changes to standard procedures desired during the hearing, by consent of the parties.
(6) Consolidation of examination of witnesses by the parties.
(7) Any other matters which aid in the disposition of the proceeding.
(d) The presiding officer shall issue and serve upon all parties a prehearing order incorporating the matters determined at the prehearing conference.
VI. The record in a contested case shall include all of the following that are applicable in that case:
(a) Any prehearing order.
(b) All pleadings, motions, objections, and rulings.
(c) Evidence received or considered.
(d) A statement of matters officially noticed.
(e) Proposed findings and exceptions.
(f) Any decision, opinion, or report by the officer presiding at the hearing.
(g) The tape recording or stenographic notes or symbols prepared for the presiding officer at the hearing, together with any transcript of all or part of the hearing considered before final disposition of the proceeding.
(h) Staff memoranda or data submitted to the presiding officer, except memoranda or data prepared and submitted by agency legal counsel or personal assistants and not inconsistent with RSA 541-A:36.
(i) Matters placed on the record after an ex parte communication.
VII. The entirety of all oral proceedings shall be recorded verbatim by the agency. Upon the request of any party or upon the agency's own initiative, such record shall be transcribed by the agency if the requesting party or agency shall pay all reasonable costs for such transcription. If a transcript is not provided within 60 days of a request by a person who is a respondent party in a disciplinary hearing before an agency responsible for occupational licensing, the proceeding shall be dismissed with prejudice. Any party may record an oral proceeding, have a transcription made at the party's expense, or both, but only the transcription made by the agency from its verbatim record shall be the official transcript of the proceeding.
VII-a. At the request of a party in any oral proceeding involving disciplinary action before an agency responsible for occupational licensing except for an emergency action under RSA 541-A:30, III, the record of the proceeding shall be made by a certified shorthand court reporter provided by the agency at the requesting party's expense. A request shall be submitted to the agency in writing at least 10 days prior to the day of the proceeding.
VIII. Findings of fact shall be based exclusively on the evidence and on matters officially noticed in accordance with RSA 541-A:33, V.

Source. 1994, 412:1. 1999, 331:2-4. 2000, 288:20, eff. July 1, 2000. 2014, 34:2, eff. Jan. 1, 2015.

Section 541-A:32

    541-A:32 Intervention. –
I. The presiding officer shall grant one or more petitions for intervention if:
(a) The petition is submitted in writing to the presiding officer, with copies mailed to all parties named in the presiding officer's notice of the hearing, at least 3 days before the hearing;
(b) The petition states facts demonstrating that the petitioner's rights, duties, privileges, immunities or other substantial interests may be affected by the proceeding or that the petitioner qualifies as an intervenor under any provision of law; and
(c) The presiding officer determines that the interests of justice and the orderly and prompt conduct of the proceedings would not be impaired by allowing the intervention.
II. The presiding officer may grant one or more petitions for intervention at any time, upon determining that such intervention would be in the interests of justice and would not impair the orderly and prompt conduct of the proceedings.
III. If a petitioner qualifies for intervention, the presiding officer may impose conditions upon the intervenor's participation in the proceedings, either at the time that intervention is granted or at any subsequent time. Such conditions may include, but are not limited to:
(a) Limitation of the intervenor's participation to designated issues in which the intervenor has a particular interest demonstrated by the petition.
(b) Limitation of the intervenor's use of cross-examination and other procedures so as to promote the orderly and prompt conduct of the proceedings.
(c) Requiring 2 or more intervenors to combine their presentations of evidence and argument, cross-examination, and other participation in the proceedings.
IV. Limitations imposed in accordance with paragraph III shall not be so extensive as to prevent the intervenor from protecting the interest which formed the basis of the intervention.
V. The presiding officer shall render an order granting or denying each petition for intervention, specifying any conditions and briefly stating the reasons for the order. The presiding officer may modify the order at any time, stating the reasons for the modification.

Source. 1994, 412:1, eff. Aug. 9, 1994.

Section 541-A:33

    541-A:33 Evidence; Official Notice in Contested Cases. –
I. All testimony of parties and witnesses shall be made under oath or affirmation administered by the presiding officer.
II. The rules of evidence shall not apply in adjudicative proceedings. Any oral or documentary evidence may be received; but the presiding officer may exclude irrelevant, immaterial or unduly repetitious evidence. Agencies shall give effect to the rules of privilege recognized by law. Objections to evidence offered may be made and shall be noted in the record. Subject to the foregoing requirements, any part of the evidence may be received in written form if the interests of the parties will not thereby be prejudiced substantially.
III. Documentary evidence may be received in the form of copies or excerpts if the original is not readily available. Upon request, parties shall be given an opportunity to compare the copy with the original.
IV. A party may conduct cross-examinations required for a full and true disclosure of the facts.
V. Official notice may be taken of any one or more of the following:
(a) Any fact which could be judicially noticed in the courts of this state.
(b) The record of other proceedings before the agency.
(c) Generally recognized technical or scientific facts within the agency's specialized knowledge.
(d) Codes or standards that have been adopted by an agency of the United States, of this state or of another state, or by a nationally recognized organization or association.
VI. Parties shall be notified either before or during the hearing or by reference in preliminary reports or otherwise of the material noticed, including any staff memoranda or data, and they shall be afforded an opportunity to contest the material so noticed. The agency's experience, technical competence, and specialized knowledge may be utilized in the evaluation of the evidence.

Source. 1994, 412:1, eff. Aug. 9, 1994.

Section 541-A:34

    541-A:34 Examination of Evidence by Agency. – If a majority of the officials of the agency who are to render the final decision in a contested case have not heard the case or read the record, the decision, if adverse to a party to the proceeding other than the agency itself, shall not be made until a proposal for decision is served upon the parties and an opportunity is afforded to each party adversely affected to file exceptions and present briefs and oral argument to the officials who are to render the final decision. The proposal for decision shall contain a statement of the reasons for the decision and shall set forth each issue of fact or law necessary to the proposed decision, prepared by the person who conducted the hearing or one who has read the record. The parties by written stipulation may waive compliance with this section.

Source. 1994, 412:1, eff. Aug. 9, 1994.

Section 541-A:35

    541-A:35 Decisions and Orders. – A final decision or order adverse to a party in a contested case shall be in writing or stated in the record. A final decision shall include findings of fact and conclusions of law, separately stated. Findings of fact, if set forth in statutory language, shall be accompanied by a concise and explicit statement of the underlying facts supporting the findings. If, in accordance with agency rules, a party submitted proposed findings of fact, the decision shall include a ruling upon each proposed finding. Parties shall be notified either personally or by mail of any decision or order. Upon request, a copy of the decision or order shall be delivered or mailed promptly to each party and to a party's recognized representative.

Source. 1994, 412:1. 2000, 288:21, eff. July 1, 2000.

Section 541-A:36

    541-A:36 Ex Parte Communications. –
Unless required for the disposition of ex parte matters authorized by law, officials or employees of an agency assigned to render a decision or to make findings of fact and conclusions of law in a contested case shall not communicate, directly or indirectly, in connection with any issue before the agency, with any person or party, except upon notice and opportunity for all parties to participate. This notice requirement shall not apply to:
I. Communications between or among agency personnel, or between the agency and legal counsel.
II. Communications between or among the presiding officer and one or more personal assistants.

Source. 1994, 412:1, eff. Aug. 9, 1994.

Section 541-A:37

    541-A:37 Waiver. – Except to the extent precluded by law, a person may waive any right conferred upon that person by this chapter.

Source. 1994, 412:1, eff. Aug. 9, 1994.

Section 541-A:38

    541-A:38 Informal Settlements. – Except to the extent precluded by law, informal settlement of matters by nonadjudicative processes is encouraged. This section does not require any party or other person to utilize informal procedures or to settle a matter pursuant to informal procedures.

Source. 1994, 412:1, eff. Aug. 9, 1994.

Section 541-A:39

    541-A:39 Notice to Municipalities. –
I. In addition to any other requirements imposed by this chapter, each agency shall give notice to and afford all affected municipalities reasonable opportunity to submit data, views, or comments with respect to the issuance of a permit, license, or any action within its boundaries that directly affects the municipality. Such actions shall include those which may have an effect on land use, land development, or transportation; those which would result in the operation of a business; or those which would have an immediate fiscal impact on the municipality or require the provision of additional municipal services.
II. Each agency shall give notice by first class mail to the town or city clerk.
III. In the event of emergency circumstances which require prompt attention, prior notice or opportunity to comment shall not be required. However, notice contemporaneous with the action shall be required.
IV. This section shall not apply to the issuance of professional or occupational licenses unless such issuance also results in actions meeting the criteria set forth in paragraph I. This section shall not apply to reissuance or renewal of licenses or permits issued prior to August 23, 1985.

Source. 1994, 412:1, eff. Aug. 9, 1994.

Section 541-A:40

    541-A:40 Suspension of Provisions. –
I. To the extent necessary to avoid a denial of funds or services from the United States which would otherwise be available to the state, the governor may suspend, in whole or in part, one or more provisions of this chapter. When the governor determines that a suspension is no longer necessary to prevent the loss of funds or services from the United States, the governor shall issue an order specifying the dates of termination of a suspension.
II. The original copy of any suspension order or order recognizing the termination of a suspension issued by the governor shall be dated, certified and filed in the office of legislative services.
III. If any provision of this chapter is suspended pursuant to this section, the governor shall promptly report the suspension to the general court. The report shall include recommendations with respect to any desirable legislation that may be necessary to conform this chapter with federal law.
IV. (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the director of legislative services may, after consultation with the chair and vice-chair of the joint legislative committee on administrative rules, and for good cause shown, waive any deadline or otherwise extend any time period contained in any provision of this chapter which relates to the rulemaking process.
(b) If a deadline is waived or a time period is extended, the director shall, after consultation with the chair and the vice-chair of the committee and the agency whose rules are affected, establish a new deadline by which the required action shall be taken.

Source. 1994, 412:1. 2000, 288:22. 2004, 180:9, eff. June 1, 2004. 2011, 252:15, eff. Sept. 11, 2011.

Section 541-A:41

    541-A:41 Effect of Prior Law. – This chapter shall govern all agency rulemaking procedures, hearings, and appeals, except as specifically exempted by this chapter. Conflicts between this chapter and prior or existing statutes shall be resolved by following the stricter requirements.

Source. 1994, 412:1, eff. Aug. 9, 1994.