The Rules Review Commission (RRC) is the executive agency created by the General Assembly in 1986 and is charged with reviewing and approving rules adopted by state agencies. The statutory authority for the RRC is G.S. 143B-30.1 and following.
The Office of Administrative Hearings maintains an email notification list for persons who are interested in receiving general information relating to the Rules Review Commission and its meetings. The listserv is open to anyone with an interest in administrative rules and the Rules Review Commission. To subscribe or unsubscribe to the Rules Review Commission listserv, please use the internet form found at the following link: Interested Persons listserv
The RRC consists of ten commissioners appointed by the General Assembly, five on the recommendation of the President Pro Tempore and five on the recommendation of the Speaker of the House. As set out in G.S. 143B-30.1(c) the Commission meets at least once a month and must have six members for a quorum.
The Commission's review procedures are set by the General Assembly and are codified in the Administrative Procedure Act, G.S. Chapter 150B. G.S. 150B-21.9 requires the Commission to determine whether rules are (1) within the authority delegated to the agency by the General Assembly, (2) clear and unambiguous, (3) reasonably necessary, and (4) adopted in compliance with the APA. Additionally, the Commission has its own rules in 26 NCAC Chapter 05.
RRC staff attorneys review rules filed for the four criteria listed above. Staff attorneys may issue requests for changes to the rule as allowed by G.S. 150B-21.10. Agencies will have an opportunity to respond to change requests and update the proposed rules to address the requests for changes. Sometimes, staff attorneys may issue staff opinions to explain their recommendation to approve or object to the rule.
Rules Review Commission Meetings
The Commission meets at least once each month, usually the third Thursday, and considers all rules filed by the 20th of the preceding month. This generally gives the staff, commission and public about four weeks between the filing of a rule for review and the public meeting where a decision is made concerning the rule. The Commission must consider all the rules before it that month and has three options: approve a rule, object to a rule, or extend the period of review on a rule. If it does either of the latter two, then the rule will be considered again at the next meeting.
The RRC must also review temporary rules before they become effective. This review may be done by a committee of at least three commissioners, rather than the full commission. However the timeline requires that these rules be reviewed within 15 business days of filing with the RRC. The RRC must review responses to objections within 5 business days of receiving the response.
The RRC meeting is an open or public meeting.
The Commission has rules concerning the submission of public comments:
- 26 NCAC 05 .0103 Submission of Written Comments Concerning Permanent Rules to the RRC
- 26 NCAC 05 .0104 Submission of Written Comments Concerning Temporary Rules to the RRC
- 26 NCAC 05 .0105 Required Notice Prior to Oral RRC Presentation
- 26 NCAC 05 .0106 Limitations on Oral Presentations
Commission Objections and Rewritten Rules
If the RRC objects to a rule, then the agency must respond and either attempt to satisfy the Commission's objection by rewriting the rule or inform the Commission that it will not change the rule and ask for it to be returned (G.S. 150B-21.12). If the RRC returns a rule to an agency, the proposed changes will not go into effect. If the RRC objected to language existing in the Code and the rule is returned, the rule will be removed from the Code.
If an agency rewrites a rule and the rewritten version satisfies RRC's objection, then the rule will be entered into the Code.
Approval and Effective Dates
Rules approved by the RRC are entered into the Code on the first of the month following approval unless the agency requests a delayed effective date. However, if 10 people file written objections with RRC requesting legislative review and a delayed effective date, then the rule becomes effective on the 31st legislative day of the next regular session of the General Assembly that begins at least 25 days after RRC approved the rule. If a member of the General Assembly files a bill disapproving the rule, then the rule's effective date will be further delayed until the legislature adjourns. If the disapproval bill passes, then the rule will not go into effect.