West Virginia Press Association Capitol Reporter
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Legislative Analyst Steve Thompson gave a presentation to the House Committee on Government Organization this week on the Legislative Rule-Making and Review Process.
Speaking on Monday, Thompson explained legislative rules are a lot like bills, but the process of making them is slightly different.
Chief Counsel Arlie Hubbard elaborated, saying an interim committee, made up of six members of the senate and six members of the house, is introduced to a rule and will then be given the opportunity to ask questions of counsel. The agency (expert) is there as well to answer questions and give more detail as needed.
If the committee wants to make changes to the rule, they will ask the agency if they are interested in doing so. If not, the changes would become an amendment to the rule to be voted on.
Thompson said all rules are required to have a 30-day “public comment period” beginning 270 days before the start of the next legislative session, during which the public can give its opinion. Public comments must be responded to in writing, whether the comments are agreeing to make changes or defending the rules for what they are.
Thompson said rules should not conflict with one another and should be “reasonable and convenient” and “readily understandable.”