An agency intending to adopt, amend, or repeal a rule must publish a notice of text in the North Carolina Register. The notice must include the text of the proposed rule, a short explanation of the reason for the proposed rule, a citation to the law that gives the agency the authority to adopt the rule, the proposed effective date of the rule, the date, time, and place of any public hearing schedule on the rule or instructions on how a person may demand a public hearing on a proposed rule if the notice does not schedule a public hearing on the proposed rule, the period of time during which and the person to whom written comments may be submitted on the proposed rule, if a fiscal note has been prepared for the rule, a statement that a copy of the fiscal note can be obtained from the agency, and the procedure by which a person can object to a proposed rule and the requirements for subjecting a proposed rule to the legislative review process.
Unless a specific statute provides otherwise, at least 15 days must elapse following publication of the notice in the North Carolina Register before the agency may conduct any public hearing and at least 60 days must elapse before the agency may take action on the proposed rule. An agency may not adopt a rule that differs substantially from the proposed form published as part of the public notice until the adopted version has been published in the North Carolina Register for an additional 60 day comment period.
When final action is taken, the adopting agency must file the rule with the Rules Review Commission (RRC) within 30 days of the adoption. After approval by RRC, the adopted rule becomes effective on the first day of the month following the month the rule is approved by the Commission, unless the Commission receives 10 or more written objections to the rule. If the Commission receives objections from 10 or more persons clearly requesting review by the legislature, the rule is sent to the General Assembly. The rule then becomes effective no earlier than the 31st legislative day of the next regular session of the General Assembly that begins at least 25 days after RRC approves the rule unless a legislative bill is introduced to disapprove that specific rule. If a bill is introduced, the rule becomes effective on the earlier of either the day an unfavorable final action is take on the bill or the day that session adjourns without ratifying the bill to disapprove the rule. A permanent rule disapproved by a bill ratified by the General Assembly before it becomes effective does not become effective and is not entered into the NCAC.
Proposed action on rules may be withdrawn by the promulgating agency at any time before final action is taken by the agency.