(a) The board may, without hearing, find that an emergency exists requiring that emergency rules be promulgated and promulgate the same in accordance with this section. Such emergency rules, together with a statement of the facts and circumstances constituting the emergency, shall be filed in the state register and shall become effective immediately upon such filing. Such emergency rules may adopt, amend or repeal any legislative rule, but the circumstances constituting the emergency requiring such adoption, amendment or repeal shall be stated with particularity and be subject to de novo review by any court having original jurisdiction of an action challenging their validity. Fifteen copies of the rules and of the required statement shall be filed forthwith with the legislative oversight commission on education accountability.
An emergency rule shall be effective for not more than fifteen months and shall expire earlier if any of the following occurs:
(1) The secretary of state, acting under the authority provided for in section sixteen-a of this article, disapproves the emergency rule because: (A) The emergency rule or an amendment to the emergency rule exceeds the scope of the law authorizing or directing the promulgation thereof; (B) an emergency does not exist justifying the promulgation of the emergency rule; or (C) the emergency rule was not promulgated in compliance with the provisions of this section. An emergency rule may not be disapproved pursuant to the authority granted by paragraphs (A) or (B) of this subdivision on the basis that the secretary of state disagrees with the underlying public policy established by the Legislature in enacting the supporting legislation. An emergency rule which would otherwise be approved as being necessary to comply with a time limitation established by this code or by a federal statute or regulation may not be disapproved pursuant to the authority granted by paragraphs (A) or (B) of this subdivision on the basis that the board has failed to file the emergency rule prior to the date fixed by such time limitation. When the supporting statute specifically directs the board to promulgate an emergency rule, or specifically finds that an emergency exists and directs the promulgation of an emergency rule, the emergency rule may not be disapproved pursuant to the authority granted by paragraph (B) of this subdivision. An emergency rule may not be disapproved on the basis that the Legislature has not specifically directed the board to promulgate the emergency rule, or has not specifically found that an emergency exists and directed the promulgation of an emergency rule.
(2) The board has not previously filed and fails to file a notice of public hearing on the proposed rule within sixty days of the date the proposed rule was filed as an emergency rule; in which case the emergency rule expires on the sixty-first day.
(3) The board has not previously filed and fails to file the proposed rule with the legislative oversight commission on education accountability within one hundred eighty days of the date the proposed rule was filed as an emergency rule; in which case the emergency rule expires on the one hundred eighty-first day.
(4) The Legislature has authorized or directed promulgation of an authorized legislative rule dealing with substantially the same subject matter since such emergency rule was first promulgated, and in which case the emergency rule expires on the date the authorized rule is made effective.
(5) The Legislature has, by law, disapproved of such emergency rule; in which case the emergency rule expires on the date the law become effective.
(b) Any amendment to an emergency rule made by the board shall be filed in the state register and does not constitute a new emergency rule for the purpose of acquiring additional time or avoiding the expiration dates in subdivision (2), (3), (4) or (5), subsection (a) of this section.
(c) Once an emergency rule expires due to the conclusion offifteen months or due to the effect of subdivision (2), (3), (4) or (5), subsection (a) of this section, the board may not refile the same or similar rule as an emergency rule.
(d) Emergency legislative rules currently in effect under the prior provisions of this section may be refiled under the provisions of this section.
(e) The provision of this section shall not be used to avoid or evade any provision of this article or any other provisions of this code, including any provisions for legislative review and approval of proposed rules. Any emergency rule promulgated for any such purpose may be contested in a judicial proceeding before a court of competent jurisdiction.
(f) The legislative oversight commission on education accountability may review any emergency rule to determine (1) whether the board has exceeded the scope of its statutory authority in promulgating the emergency rule; (2) whether there exists an emergency justifying the promulgation of such rule; and (3) whether the rule was promulgated in compliance with the requirements and prohibitions contained in this section. The commission may recommend to the board, the Legislature, or the secretary of state such action as it may deem proper.
(g) For the purposes of this section, an emergency exists when the promulgation of a rule is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, safety or welfare or is necessary to comply with a time limitation established by this code or by a federal statute or regulation or to prevent substantial harm to the public interest.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2015 Regular Session
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