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 Summary of Regular Rule Making Steps

The first chart offers a quick view of the steps in rule making for each regular rule type. The steps are listed in the first column, the requirements and 2018-2019 deadlines for legislative rules in the second and third columns, requirements for procedural rules in column four, and for interpretive rules in column five.  The second chart provides more information about the steps. Links to detailed steps for each rule type are provided below.  Go to Emergency Rules to learn more about the special requirements for those rules.







Initial Filing Proposed Rule   6/27/2018 Proposed Rule   Proposed Rule
Public Comment 30-day period   30-day period 30-day period
Public Hearing  Optional unless required by legislation authorizing rule     Optional unless required by legislation authorizing rule Optional unless required by legislation authorizing rule
Agency Approved Filing    No later than 90 days after hearing or close of comment period   7/27/2018   These steps are not required for procedural or interpretive rules.
Review & Approval by Legislative Rule Making & Review Committee    Usually during Interims; may be amended by committee   June 2018 through Jan 2019        
Modified Rule Filing   If committee requests modification, agency files modified rule


After LRMRC review

Review & Approval by House & Senate   Committee(s)   During regular legislative session; may be amended on floor   1/9/2019 through
Passage in House & Senate During regular legislative session; may be amended on floor   1/9/2019 through
Signature by Governor Within 15 days adjournment of Legislature (following extended session for budget approval)   End of March - Early April        
Final Filing   Within 60 days after rules bill is passed   Early April to Early July   No later than six months after close of comment period No later than six months after close of comment period
Effective Date Agency may specify same day as final filed, but no later than 90 days after final filing unless statute sets an effective date   Same day as final filed up to 90 days after filing unless set by statute   No sooner than 30 days after final filing, no later than 60 days after final filing   No sooner than 30 days after final filing, no later than 60 days after final filing


The Table below gives a more detailed description of the steps.  When actually preparing a rule for filing, use the appropriate step procedures guide for the particular rule type.  See below for a link to those guides.


Initial Filing

  An agency must have the authority of law to promulgate legislative rules, and the authority must be cited at the beginning of the rule. The rule is prepared in a standard format. The Secretary of State rule, CSR 153-6, "Standard Size and Format for Rules and Procedures for Publication of the State Register or Parts of the State Register," describes the formatting requirements. A rule may not include provisions which exceed the authority provided by law.

All rules are now filed using eRules, and there are no paper copies needed. The initial filing of a new or amended rule, with specific forms attached, will include a fiscal note, statement of purpose, and statement of circumstances. When copies are accepted by the Secretary of State, they will automatically be filed with Legislative Rule Making and Review Committee (LRMRC).
Public Comment
Public Hearing

  When the agency promulgates a new rule or amends an existing rule, the agency must announce either a public comment period or public hearing or both. The hearing/comment notice is included with the initial filing, and is published in the State Register. The comment period must be no less than 30 days long and end no more than 60 days after the rule is filed.
Agency Approved

After the comment period or hearing is finished, the agency may modify the proposed rule. The agency must file within 90 days after the close of the comment period a complete copy of the rule, any comments that were received and a summary of the responses to all comments

The law sets the deadline for an agency approved filing in order for a legislative rule to be considered at the next session. W. Va. Code §29A-3-12(a) allows the LRMRC the right to refuse to consider and withhold from its report to the Legislature rules which were submitted to them fewer than 225 days before the end of the regular session. This means that the public hearing or comment period must be held and finished and the agency approved rule filed with the LRMRC no later than the last week of July each year. (This is about 4 weeks later the year that the governor is inaugurated.)

Review & Approval by LRMRC

The Legislative Rule Making and Review Committee (LRMRC) has staff members review each rule to decide if it complies with the W. Va. Code, does not exceed statutory authority, and is clearly written. The staff sends their suggestions back to the agency.

Staff will present it to the full Committee at meeting, usually during the three-day interim legislative sessions. At this time the public may attend the meeting and may ask to speak to the rule before the Committee. The Committee may vote to approve the rule as filed, ask that modifications be made, ask the agency to withdraw the rule or reject the proposed rule. If the LRMRC approves the rule, the agency needs to do nothing further before the rule goes to the full Legislature.

Find information about upcoming interim meetings at the 
WV Legislature web site.

Modified Rule
  If modifications are agreed upon, the agency must refile for publication in the Register a modified.
Review & Approval by House and Senate Committees
  The final version of the rule goes to both houses of the Legislature. Each rule is assigned a bill number in each house, and is assigned to one or more committees in both the House and Senate. Once again the public has ability to appear and comment. A committee may amend the rule.
Consideration & Passage by the Legislature
  Once the committees complete review, rules go to the floor of each body to be voted upon one by one. Then, all rules that are similar (environmental, health, elected offices, etc.) are grouped together, 'bundled', for passage of the full Legislature. If there are disagreements between the House and the Senate, the rules may go to conference. Because of this lengthy process, it is unusual for a final rules bill to receive approval before the last few days of the regular legislative session.
Signature of Governor
  The 'bundled' bill passed by the Legislature goes to the Governor for signature. If the Governor vetoes the bill because of one rule, the other rules will die as well. The Governor has fifteen days from the end of the session (including any extended session) to review all bills. If the Governor does not sign or veto a bill within that time, the bill becomes law without his signature.
Final Filing
  The agency must final file the rule with the Secretary of State for publication in the Register and set an effective date, unless the Legislature has specifically set the effective date.

For an interpretive or procedural rule, the agency has six months following the hearing or comment period to make the final filing and set the effective date. If the agency fails to final file their rule within 6 months, the rule-making process dies and the agency must start again from the beginning.


The steps for promulgating a rule are very specific, and agencies must comply with all the requirements in order to have a rule become effective.

Preparing to propose or amend a rule? Three step-procedure guides are provided to help agencies prepare the specific rule. This information is not intended to replace W. Va. Code §29A (the Administrative Procedures Act or "APA") but is to assist the agency with its compliance. The APA is the controlling document and should be consulted during the entire rule-making process.
Consult these guides for help in promulgating:

Legislative Rules

Interpretive & Procedural Rules

Emergency Rules